I am asking myself what is fear: not what I am afraid of. I lead a certain kind of life; I think in a certain pattern; I have certain beliefs and dogmas and I don't want those patterns of existence to be disturbed because I have my roots in them. I don't want them to be disturbed because the disturbance produces a state of unknowing and I dislike that. If I am torn away from everything I know and believe, I want to be reasonably certain of the state of things to which I am going. So the brain cells have created a pattern and those brain cells refuse to create another pattern which may be uncertain. The movement from certainty to uncertainty is what I call fear.
The military spirit makes you obedient, it makes you physically very disciplined; but inwardly your mind is gradually destroyed because you are imitating, following, copying. You become a mere tool of the older people, of the politician, an instrument of propaganda.
Your parents and society use that word duty as a means of molding you, shaping you according to their particular idiosyncrasies, their habits of thought, their likes and dislikes, hoping thereby to guarantee their own safety.
The process of comparison and condemnation prevents you from observing, studying. So a real student is one who observes everything in life, outwardly as well as inwardly, without comparing, approving, or condemning.
Following of authority in any form, whether self-imposed or established from outside, as well as any form of imitation, copying, is destructive of incentive, of creativeness, and that it blocks the discovery of what is true.
Listen with Ease
Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds—which means really that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change that comes without your volition, without your asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.
Listening Without Thought
I do not know whether you have listened to a bird. To listen to something demands that your mind be quiet—not a mystical quietness, but just quietness. I am telling you something, and to listen to me you have to be quiet, not have all kinds of ideas buzzing in your mind. When you look at a flower, you look at it, not naming it, not classifying it, not saying that it belongs to a certain species—when you do these, you cease to look at it. Therefore, I am saying that it is one of the most difficult things to listen—to listen to the communist, to the socialist, to the congressman, to the capitalist, to anybody, to your wife, to your children, to your neighbor, to the bus conductor, to the bird—just to listen. It is only when you listen without the idea, without thought, that you are directly in contact; and being in contact, you will understand whether what he is saying is true or false; you do not have to discuss.
Poverty becomes a marvellously beautiful thing when the mind is free of society. One must become poor inwardly for then there is no seeking, no asking, no desire, no - nothing! It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all.
In a deep river there is richness and many fish can live; but the shallow pool is soon dried up by the strong sun, and nothing remains except mud and dirt. For most of us, love is an extraordinarily difficult thing to understand because our lives are very shallow.
it is very important, while you are young, to be real revolutionaries—which means not accepting anything, but inquiring into all these things to find out what is true. Only then can you create a new world.
As I said, relationship has true significance only when it is a process of self-revelation, when it is revealing oneself in the very action of relationship. But most of us do not want to be revealed in relationship.
To find out actually what takes place when you die you must die. This isn't a joke. You must die - not physically but psychologically, inwardly, die to the things you have cherished and to the things you are bitter about. If you have died to one of your pleasures, the smallest or the greatest, naturally, without any enforcement or argument, then you will know what it means to die. To die is to have a mind that is completely empty of itself, empty of its daily longing, pleasure; and agonies. Death is a renewal, a mutation, in which thought does not function at all because thought is old. When there is death there is something totally new. Freedom from the known is death, and then you are living.
We are asking if thought can be aware of itself. That is rather a complex question, and requires very careful observation. Thought has created wars through nationalism, through sectarian religions. Thought has created all this; God has not created the hierarchy of the church--the pope, all the robes, all the rituals, the swinging of the incense, the candles. All that paraphernalia that goes on in a cathedral or in a church is put together by thought, copied, some of it, from the ancient Egyptians, from the ancient Hindus, and Hebrews. It is all thought. So "God" is created by thought.
To be sensitively aware of thought, of feeling, of the world about you, of your office and of nature, is to explode from moment to moment in affection. Without affection, every action becomes burdensome and mechanical and leads to decay.
What is the point of being educated, of learning to read and write, if you are just going to carry on like a machine? But that is what your parents want, and it is what the world wants. The world does not want you to think, it does not want you to be free to find out, because then you would be a dangerous citizen, you would not fit into the established pattern. A free human being can never feel that he belongs to any particular country, class, or type of thinking. Freedom means freedom at every level, right through, and to think only along a particular line is not freedom.
Love is not a sentiment, not romanticism, not dependent on something, and that state is extremely arduous and difficult to understand, or to be in—because our minds are always interfering, limiting, encroaching upon its functioning. Therefore it is important to understand first the mind and its ways; otherwise we shall be caught in illusions, caught in words and sensations that have very little significance.
Can we think about love ? When you love, is thought functioning ? Love and thought are not in opposition; do not let us divide them as opposites. When one loves, is there a sense of seperateness, of bringing people together, or disbanding them, pushing them away ? Surely that state of love can be experienced only when the process of thought is not functioning—which does not mean that one must become crazy, unbalanced. On the contrary. It requires the highest form of thought to go beyond.
If you had love in your heart, you would show respect to those who have nothing and also to those who have everything; you would neither be afraid of those who have, nor disregard those who have not. Respect in the hope of reward is the outcome of fear. In love there is no fear.
It rained last night heavily, and now the skies are beginning to clear; it is a new fresh day. Let us meet that fresh day as if it were the only day. Let us start on our journey together with all the remembrance of yesterday left behind—and begin to understand ourselves for the first time.
There are those who don’t believe in God and yet do good. There are those who believe in God and kill for that belief; those who prepare for war because they claim they want peace, and so on. So one has to ask oneself what need there is to believe at all in anything, though this doesn’t deny the extraordinary mystery of life. But belief is a word, a thought, and this is not the thing, anymore than your name is actually you.
Through experience you hope to touch the truth of your belief, to prove it to yourself, but this belief conditions your experience. It isn’t that the experience comes to prove the belief, but rather that the belief begets the experience. Your belief in God will give you the experience of what you call God. You will always experience what you believe and nothing else.
When you love, you are not lonely. The sense of loneliness arises only when you are frightened of being alone and of not knowing what to do. When you are controlled by ideas, isolated by beliefs, then fear is inevitable; and when you are afraid, you are completely blind.
To look is important. We look to immediate things and out of immediate necessities to the future, coloured by the past. Our seeing is very limited and our eyes are accustomed to near things.
Our look is as bound by time-space as our brain. We never look, we never see beyond this limitation; we do not know how to look through and beyond these fragmentary frontiers. But the eyes have to see beyond them, penetrating deeply and widely, without choosing, without shelter; they have to wander beyond man-made frontiers of ideas and values and to feel beyond love. Then there is a benediction which no god can give.
The demand to be safe in relationship inevitably breeds sorrow and fear. This seeking for security is inviting insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you? Most of us want the security of loving and being loved, but is there love when each one of us is seeking his own security, his own particular path? We are not loved because we don't know how to love.
We want to make life permanent, but in doing so we go against nature, and there lies our pain. Only the mind which is always moving, without resting places and fixed ideas, can be in tune with life and therefore joyful.
Beyond all explanations which a good brain can give, why do we choose the worse and not the better, why hate rather than love, why greed and not generosity, why self-centred activity and not open total action? Why be mean when there are soaring mountains and flashing streams? Why jealousy and not love? Why?
As long as one is escaping from loneliness, there is no essential difference between the worship of God and addiction to alcohol. Socially, there may be a difference; but psychologically, the man who runs away from himself, from his own emptiness, whose escape is his search for God, is on the same level as the drunkard.
Find out what it means to die - not physically, that's inevitable - but to die to everything that is known, to die to your family, to your attachments, to all the things that you have accumulated, the known, the known pleasures, the known fears. Die to that every minute and you will see what it means to die so that the mind is made fresh, young, and therefore innocent, so that there is incarnation not in a next life, but the next day.
The description is not the described; I can describe the mountain, but the description is not the mountain, and if you are caught up in the description, as most people are, then you will never see the mountain.
Love is a state of being, and in that state, the 'me', with its identifications, anxieties, and possessions is absent. Love cannot be, as long as the activities of the self, of the 'me', whether conscious or unconscious, continue to exist.
There is an efficiency inspired by love which goes far beyond and is much greater than the efficiency of ambition; and without love, which brings an integrated understanding of life, efficiency breeds ruthlessness. Is this not what is actually taking place all over the world? Our present education is geared to industrialization and war, its principal aim being to develop efficiency; and we are caught in this machine of ruthless competition and mutual destruction. If education leads to war, if it teaches us to destroy or be destroyed, has it not utterly failed?
I think it is always important to ask fundamental questions, but when we do ask a fundamental question, most of us are seeking an answer, and then the answer is invariably superficial because there is no yes or no answer to life. Life is a movement, an endless movement, and to inquire into this extraordinary thing called life, with all its innumerable aspects, one must ask fundamental questions and never be satisfied with answers, however satisfactory they may be, because the moment you have an answer, the mind has concluded, and conclusion is not life - it is merely a static state. So what is important is to ask the right question and never be satisfied with the answer, however clever, however logical, because the truth of the question lies beyond the conclusion, beyond the answer, beyond the verbal expression. The mind that asks a question and is merely satisfied with an explanation, a verbal statement, remains superficial. It is only the mind that asks a fundamental question and is capable of pursuing that question to the end - it is only such a mind that can find out what is truth.
Surely education has no meaning unless it helps you understand the vast experience of life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys. You may earn degrees, you may have a series of letters after your name and land a good job, but then what? What is the point of it all if in the process your mind becomes dull, weary, stupid?
All that we have invented, the symbols in the church, the rituals, they are all put there by thought. Thought has invented these things. Invented the savior. Invented the temples of India and the contents of the temples. Thought has invented all these things called sacred. You cannot deny that. So thought in itself is not sacred. And when thought invents God, God is not sacred. So what is sacred? That can only be understood or happen when there is complete freedom, from fear, from sorrow, and when there is this sense of love and compassion with it's own intelligence. Then when the mind is utterly still, that which is sacred can take place.
You say you love your wife. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being. Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don’t like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence. So what you are really saying is, ‘As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don’t I begin to hate you.
There is no ideal in observation. When you have an ideal, you cease to observe, you are then merely approximating the present to the idea, and therefore there is duality, conflict, and all the rest of it. The mind has to be in the state when it can see, observe. The experience of the observation is really an astonishing state. In that there is no duality. The mind is simply - aware.
A dialogue is very important. It is a form of communication in which question and answer continue till a question is left without an answer. Thus the question is suspended between the two persons involved in this answer and question. It is like a bud with untouched blossoms . . . If the question is left totally untouched by thought, it then has its own answer because the questioner and answerer, as persons, have disappeared. This is a form of dialogue in which investigation reaches a certain point of intensity and depth, which then has a quality that thought can never reach.
To ask the 'right' question is far more important than to receive the answer. The solution of a problem lies in the understanding of the problem; the answer is not outside the problem, it is in the problem.
The world is not something separate from you and me; the world, society, is the relationship that we establish or seek to establish between each other. So you and I are the problem, and not the world, because the world is the projection of ourselves, and to understand the world we must understand ourselves. That world is not separate from us; we are the world, and our problems are the world's problems.
You know, if we understand one question rightly, all questions are answered. But we don't know how to ask the right question. To ask the right question demands a great deal of intelligence and sensitivity. Here is a question, a fundamental question: is life a torture? It is, as it is; and man has lived in this torture centuries upon centuries, from ancient history to the present day, in agony, in despair, in sorrow; and he doesn't find a way out of it. Therefore he invents gods, churches, all the rituals, and all that nonsense, or he escapes in different ways. What we are trying to do, during all these discussions and talks here, is to see if we cannot radically bring about a transformation of the mind, not accept things as they are, nor revolt against them. Revolt doesn't answer a thing. You must understand it, go into it, examine it, give your heart and your mind, with everything that you have, to find out a way of living differently. That depends on you, and not on someone else, because in this there is no teacher, no pupil; there is no leader; there is no guru; there is no Master, no Saviour. You yourself are the teacher and the pupil; you are the Master; you are the guru; you are the leader; you are everything. And to understand is to transform what is.
Governments want efficient technicians, not human beings, because human beings become dangerous to governments – and to organized religions as well. That is why governments and religious organizations seek to control education.
Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.
You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.