J. Krishnamurti – Brockwood Park 1978 – Discussion 1 with Buddhist Scholars – We are all…

J. Krishnamurti – Brockwood Park 1978 – Discussion 1 with Buddhist Scholars – We are all…

October 11, 2019 34 By Ronny Jaskolski


Giddu Narayan:
I will just say one or two things by way of introduction. Dr Schloegl there, is a well-known
scholar in Zen Buddhism. She lived in Japan for twelve years and she teaches Zen Buddhism
in London. She was also the librarian
of the Buddhist Society till very recently and many people know her because
many people have been her students. We have been wanting to arrange
this dialogue with Krishnaji since last year but it has not been possible. Dr Rahula is from Ceylon,
Sri Lanka, and he is a very great
Buddhist scholar both in the Theravada
and the Mahayana. He lectures in Ceylon, in Oxford,
he goes to the USA, Japan, and he is quite well-known,
and has written quite a few books. And I am very glad it is possible that we have
this dialogue today with Krishnaji. Krishnamurti: Probably you all know
Dr Bohm and myself so we don’t need introduction. Dr Walpola Rahula: Yes, sir,
we know you so well and I have been
following your teaching, if you allow me to use that word – I know that
you don’t like that word… K: It’s all right, sir. WR:…from my young days. I have read most of your books
with great interest, deep interest, and I have wanted to have this
discussion with you for a long time, and I am very happy, very pleased that we have got
this opportunity today, thanks to Mr. Narayan
for arranging all this. I must say that, as I have followed your teachings,
your books, for many years, I must say that for a person who knows Buddha’s
teachings sufficiently well, your teaching is quite familiar, and for a person like that
it is not a new thing, it is quite familiar. And what the Buddha taught
2,500 years ago you teach today in a new idiom,
a new style, and you put his teaching
into a new garb. And that is what I feel always
when I read your books – and I have written very often,
I haven’t got the books here, practically most of your books
are with me – and when I read your books
very often I write in the margin comparing such and such a teaching
with the Buddha, sometimes I even quote the verse, or the chapter and verse,
or the text. Not only Buddha’s teaching,
the original ancient teaching, but even later Buddhist
philosophers’ ideas – I will discuss with you later – even those things you say
practically exactly the same. I was surprised how you got these
things so well and so beautifully. And to begin with, I want to mention
very briefly a few points which are common between
Buddha’s teaching and your teaching. And, for instance,
Buddha did not accept god who created the world
and who rules this world and rewards and punishes people
for their actions. You also don’t accept that idea,
I believe. Then Buddha did not accept the old
Vedic, Brahmanic idea of eternal, permanent, everlasting, unchanging,
soul, Atman – Buddha denied it. And you also, I think, don’t accept
that soul, that type of soul. Then Buddha begins his teaching on the ground that human life
is in predicament: suffering, conflict, sorrow. And I see in your books
you always emphasise that. And then Buddha says that the cause
of this conflict, suffering, all that is due to the selfishness which is created by the wrong
idea of self – myself, my Atman. And I think you say the same thing. And then Buddha says when one is free from that desire,
attachment, self, he is free from suffering,
he is free from conflict. And in fact, you said somewhere,
I remember: freedom means
freedom from all attachment – you said somewhere. And that is exactly
what the Buddha taught, that all attachment –
there is no discrimination there, there is no good attachment
and bad attachment – of course relatively there is
in our ordinary practical life, but ultimately
there is no such division. Then seeing truth,
realisation of truth, that is to see things as they are, as the Buddha says, in the Buddhist
terminology Yatha Bhutam, that means as things are…
K: Bhutam, yes sir. WR: When you see that, you see
the reality, you see the truth and you are free from that conflict. I think this is what
very often you say in a discussion, I think,
between you and Dr Bohm, I think, ‘Truth and Actuality’, in that discussion
you have discussed this question. When I read that recently I thought this is quite well-known
in Buddhist thought as samvriti satya
and paramarthasatya. Samvriti satya is
the conventional truth and paramarthasatya is
the absolute or ultimate truth. And so you can’t see
the ultimate truth, or the absolute truth, without seeing the relative
or conventional truth. That is the Buddhist attitude also.
I think you say the same thing. K: Yes, sir.
WR: Then one of your – of course this is more
on the popular level, but it is very important – you always say that you must
not depend on authority, anybody’s authority,
anybody’s teaching. You must realise it yourself,
you must see it for yourself. This is a teaching very
well-known in Buddhism and Buddha told the Kalamas
don’t accept anything just because it is given
by religion or scriptures, or by a teacher, or by a guru, only if you see for yourself
that it is right, then accept it; if you see it is wrong or bad,
then reject it. I remember
a very interesting discussion you had with Swami Venkatesananda. K: Yes, sir.
WR: And his point was very much that the whole idea of guru,
the importance of guru, but you always said
what can he do, it is your job, your business to do it,
a guru can’t save you. This is exactly
the Buddhist attitude that you should not
accept authority, and after reading
I listened to that also. A friend of mine played that tape, later on I read the whole thing in your book
‘The Awakening of Intelligence’. After reading, at the end,
I wrote as from the text: Buddha has said these things too, all this discussion is summarised
by the Buddha in two lines in the Dhammapada: you should make the effort,
the Buddhas only teach. K: Quite.
WR: This is in the Dhammapada, you have read long, long ago
when you were young because I found it
in Mary Lutyens’ book, you quoted it somewhere,
not this line but another. Then another very important thing many people don’t understand
when you say – I must say this openly, let them know it,
if they don’t understand it – your emphasis on awareness,
mindfulness. This is a thing in Buddha’s teaching which is very important,
extremely important, this is given in the Sattipathana
sutta, to be aware, to be mindful. I myself was surprised when I read
in the Maha-parinibbana-Sutta that is the discourse, sutta,
about the last months of his life. At every point wherever he stopped
and talked to his disciples he said always be aware of things,
cultivate awareness, mindfulness. It is called Sattipathana that means really
presence of awareness, the presence of mindfulness. This also is one of your
very strong points in your teaching which I appreciate very much
and follow. Then another interesting thing – your emphasis always
on impermanence, suffering, impermanence. This is one of the fundamental
things in Buddha’s teaching – everything is impermanent,
there is nothing permanent. And in one place you say exactly – I think it is in the book
‘Freedom from the Known’ – to discover nothing is permanent
is of tremendous importance for only then is the mind free. That is exactly in the four
noble truths of the Buddha, that when you see that. Then another very interesting
small point I want to mention: how your teaching
and the Buddha’s teaching go together without any conflict. I think in one place,
in ‘Freedom from the Known’ in that book,
you say: control and outward discipline
are not the way, nor has an undisciplined life
any value. When I read this I wrote
there also on the margin, Buddha told a Brahmin: a Brahmin asked the Buddha, ‘How did you attain to these heights of spiritual and
intellectual height, by what precepts, by what discipline, by what knowledge did you attain?’ Buddha said, ‘Not by knowledge,
not by discipline, not by precepts, not by words,
nor without them’. That is the important thing – he said not by these things,
but not without them also. Exactly what you say: you condemn
this slavery to discipline, but without discipline
life has no value. That is exactly in Zen,
which is Buddhism, after all. There is nothing
called Zen Buddhism, Zen is Buddhism. In Zen, discipline is attachment, and slavery to that
is very much condemned, but there is no Buddhist sect
in the world I think where discipline
is so much emphasised. I think Dr Schloegl
will talk about this later. Therefore all these things – we have
many other things to talk about but to begin with I want to say
that these things, these fundamental things
are quite in agreement, and there is no conflict
between you and the Buddha. Of course you are not a Buddhist,
as you say. K: No, sir. WR: No. And I myself don’t know
what I am. It does not matter. But in your teaching
and the Buddha’s teaching there is hardly any conflict, only you say the same thing
in a fascinating way for the man today,
for tomorrow’s man. And now I would like to know
what you think about all this. K: May I say, sir, with due respect,
why you compare. WR: No, this is because when I read your books
as a Buddhist scholar, as one who has studied
Buddhist texts, I always see it is the same thing. K: Yes, sir, but if I may ask, what is the necessity of comparing? WR: There is no necessity at all. K: If you hadn’t, if you are not a scholar
of Buddhism, and all the Sutras, and the sayings of the Buddha, if you were just not scholarly, and not gone very deeply
into Buddhism, how would it
strike you reading this, without the background of all that? WR: That I can’t tell you because I was never
without that background. It is a condition conditioned,
it is a condition. We are all conditioned.
K: That’s right, sir. WR: Therefore I cannot
answer that question because I don’t know
what would be the position. K: So, if I may point out – I hope you don’t mind.
WR: No, not at all. K: Does knowledge
condition human beings – knowledge of scriptures, knowledge of what the saints
have said and so on and so on, the whole gamut
of so-called sacred books, does that help man at all? WR: It certainly – scriptures and
all our knowledge – conditions man, there is no doubt about it.
It conditions. It is conditioning. But I should say that knowledge
is not absolutely unnecessary. It is just like this: Buddha has pointed out this
very clearly – you want to cross the river
and there is no bridge, but you make a boat for yourself and you cross
with the help of the boat. Going to the other shore, if you think, this boat has been very useful to me,
very helpful to me, I can’t leave it here,
I will carry it and you put it on your shoulder. And he asks the Bhikkhus,
‘Is that man acting rightly?’ They said, ‘No’. Then what you should do is to say, ‘Of course this boat
was very helpful to me but I have crossed the river. Now it is not useful to me anymore and I’ll leave it here
for somebody else to use’. That is the attitude
for knowledge and learning. Buddha says, even the teachings,
not only that, even the virtues, so-called virtues, moral virtues
are also like the boat, and they have a relative value
and conditioned value. K: I would like to question. I am not doubting
what you are saying, sir. But I would like to question whether knowledge
in its actual sense has the liberating
quality of the mind. WR: I don’t think
knowledge can liberate. K: Has the quality, sir? Knowledge can’t, but the quality
that you derive from knowledge: the strength, the sense of capacity,
the sense of value, the feeling that you know,
the weight of knowledge, doesn’t that strengthen the self? WR: Certainly, certainly. K: So does knowledge
actually condition man? Let’s put it that way. WR: Knowledge?
Yes, certainly, that is so. K: So, the word ‘knowledge’,
we mean surely both of us, and all of us surely mean
the accumulation of information, accumulation of experience,
of various facts and theories and principles,
the past and the present, all that bundle we call knowledge. Does then the past help,
because knowledge is the past? WR: All that past,
all that knowledge disappears the moment
you see the truth. K: No, can a mind that is burdened
with knowledge see truth? WR: Of course if the mind
is burdened and crowded and covered with knowledge… K: So, it is, generally it is. Most minds are filled
and crippled with knowledge. I am using the word ‘crippled’
in the sense of weighed down. Can such a mind
perceive what is truth? Or must it be free from knowledge? WR: To see the truth the mind must
be free from all knowledge. K: Yes, so why should one accumulate
knowledge and then abandon it and then seek truth? You follow what I am saying?
WR: Yes, yes. I think that in our life,
even when we take our ordinary life, most of the things which we avert
are useful at the beginning, and for instance, in our studies
as children at school, we can’t write without rules… K: Of course, of course. WR:…but today I can’t
write on ruled paper. K: No. WR: But if I at that stage… K: Wait a minute, sir.
I agree. When you are at school, college
and university, we need lines – lines to write on
and all the rest of it – but does not the beginning
matter enormously which might condition the future,
as he grows up? You understand
what I am trying to…? I don’t know
if I am making myself clear. Does freedom lie at the end
or at the beginning? WR: It has no beginning, no end. Freedom has no beginning, no end. K: No, therefore, would you say that
freedom is limited by knowledge? WR: Freedom is not
limited by knowledge, perhaps knowledge which is
wrongly applied, or acquired, may obstruct freedom. K: No, there is no wrong or right
accumulation of knowledge – knowledge. I may do certain ugly things
and repent or carry on with those ugly things, which again is part of my knowledge. So I am asking
if knowledge leads to freedom. As you say, discipline is necessary
at the beginning. And as you grow older, mature, acquire capacities
and so on, so on, that discipline,
has it not conditioned the mind so that it can never
abandon discipline in the usual sense of that word. WR: Yes, I fully, quite understand. You agree
that discipline at the beginning, at a certain level is necessary. K: I question that, sir. When I say I question it, I don’t mean I doubt it,
or it is not necessary, but I question it
in order to enquire. WR: Yes, I should say
at a certain level it is necessary, and if you cannot abandon it ever – now, for instance, I am talking
from the Buddhist point of view. And there are two words in Buddhism
with regard to the way: Saikshya and Asaikshya. Saikshya is all those people who are on the way,
who have not yet arrived, that means all those
disciplines, precepts and all those things that are
good and bad, right and wrong. And an arhat who has realised
the truth is called Asaikshya. K: Asaikshya. Yes. WR: He has no discipline. K: No, but he is beyond that.
WR: Because he is beyond that. K: Yes, I understand this. WR: But that is a fact in life. K: I question that, sir. WR: I have no doubt about it
in my mind. K: Then we have stopped enquiring. WR: No, it is not so. K: No, I mean,
we are talking about knowledge – knowledge being
useful or necessary, as a boat to cross the river. I want to enquire into that fact,
or into that simile, whether it is the truth, whether it has the quality of truth – let’s put it that way. For the moment
I am putting it that way. WR: You mean that simile,
or that teaching? K: The whole of that. Which means, sir
– just a minute – which means accepting evolution. WR: Yes. Accepting evolution.
K: Evolution, gradually, step by step, advancing, and ultimately reaching. Right? First, I discipline,
control, effort, and as I get more capacity,
more energy, more strength, I abandon that and move on. WR: There is no plan like that, there is no plan,
there is no programme like that. K: No, I am not saying
that there is a plan. I am asking for enquiry, whether there is such a movement,
such progress at all. WR: What do you think? K: What do I think?
No. Dr Irmgard Schloegl: I agree very
much with you, I can’t believe it. WR: Yes, there is no progress. K: No, we must go into it
very carefully, sir, because the whole tradition, both Buddhist, Hindu and Christian, all the religious and non-religious
attitude is caught up in time, in evolution
– I will be better, I will be good, I will eventually
blossom in goodness. Right? I am saying in that
there is a root of untruth in it, there is untruth in it.
Sorry to put it that way. IS: May I please come in? I entirely agree with that.
K: You disagree? IS: Entirely agree.
K: Agree. IS: For the very good reason that ever since human beings
have existed as far as we know, we have always known
in our different contexts that we should be good. If it would be possible
to progress by something like this, we would not be the human beings
that we are nowadays. We would all have
progressed sufficiently. K: Have we progressed at all? IS: That is precisely – we have not
progressed – if at all, very little. K: We may have progressed
technologically, scientifically, hygienically
and all the rest of it, but psychologically, inwardly,
we have not, we are what we were
ten thousand years ago, or more. IS: And so the fact that we know that we should do good
and have evolved so many systems of how to do it has not managed
to help us to become precisely that. And as I see it, there is
a specific obstacle in all of us and it is this obstacle that needs – because we do quite honestly
from our very heart, most of us want to be good,
but most of us do not bring it off – but it is this working through
which seems to me at stake. K: You see,
we have accepted evolution. Biologically there is evolution and we have transferred
that biological fact into psychological existence, thinking psychologically
we will evolve. WR: I don’t think
that is the attitude. No. K: But that is what it means
when you say ‘gradually’. WR: No, I don’t say gradually.
I don’t say that. The realisation of truth,
attainment of truth or seeing the truth, is a thing without a plan,
is without a scheme. K: Is out of time. WR: Out of time.
Exactly, out of time. K: Which means then, my mind, which has evolved
through centuries, millennia, which is conditioned by time,
which is evolution, which is the acquiring of knowledge
– knowledge – more, more, more… will reveal the extraordinary truth. WR: It is not that knowledge
which will reveal. K: So why should I
accumulate knowledge? WR: But how can you avoid it? K: Psychologically avoid it,
not technologically. WR: Yes, even psychologically, how can you do that?
K: Ah, that’s a different matter. WR: Yes, how can you do
because you are conditioned. We are all conditioned. K: Wait a minute, sir.
Let’s go into it a little more. Am I all right, sir?
DB: Fine. K: Biologically, physically, from childhood
up to a certain age, maturity, adolescence and so on, that’s a fact. A little oak tree grows into
a gigantic oak tree, that’s a fact. And is it a fact or we have created,
assumed it is so, psychologically we must grow? Which is, psychologically,
eventually I will achieve truth or truth will take place
if I prepare the ground. WR: No, no. That is a wrong conclusion
you have come to, that is a wrong conclusion. It is that the realisation of truth
is a revolution, not evolution. K: No, therefore, why
– you understand, sir? – can the mind be free,
psychologically, of this idea of progress? WR: It can be. K: No, not ‘can be’.
It must be, otherwise you can’t… WR: That is what I told you, that revolution is not evolution,
a gradual progress. K: So psychologically,
can there be a revolution? WR: Yes. Certainly. K: Which means what?
No time. WR: There is no time. K: But all the religions,
all the scriptures, whether it is Islam
or whatever it is, have maintained you must go
through certain systems. WR: But not Buddhism. K: No, sir, wait a minute. I wouldn’t even call Buddhism,
I don’t know I have never read except when I was a boy,
but that has gone out of my mind. When you say
eventually, you must discipline first
and let go of that discipline. WR: No, I don’t say that. I don’t postulate like that,
and nor did Buddha. K: Then please, I may be mistaken.
How do you consider… WR: I ask you, how do you proceed. K: Proceed with what? WR: That, the realisation of truth,
how do you do that, tell me. K: Ah, that’s a different matter.
WR: Tell me how do you do that. K: That’s quite a different matter. WR: Yes, I mean just, not like that, what I say is that
we are conditioned. Nobody can avoid that,
however much he tries. And the revolution is to see
that you are conditioned. K: Sir, all right, let’s begin. WR: The moment you see that
it has no time, it is an entire revolution
and that is the truth. K: Suppose one is conditioned
in the pattern of evolution – I have been, I am, I shall be.
That’s evolution. No?
WR: Yes. K: You understand, sir? I was ugly yesterday but today I am learning about
that ugliness and freeing myself and tomorrow I will be free of it. Right? That is our whole attitude, psychological structure
of our being. This is an everyday fact! WR: Do we see that? K: Wait, we see that.
Right? WR: No. You see, understanding is
one thing, intellectually, verbally. K: No, I am not talking
either intellectually or verbally, this is a fact: ‘I will try to be good’. WR: There’s no question
of trying to be good. K: No, but sir, not according
to the Buddha, not according to scriptures, but average human being
of everyday life, he says,
‘I am not as good as I should be, but I eventually –
give me a couple of weeks or a couple of years –
and I will be awfully good’. WR: Certainly that is
the attitude of the people. K: Practically everybody. WR: Practically everybody.
I fully agree. K: Now, wait a minute. That is our conditioning, the Christian, the Buddhist – the whole world is conditioned
by this idea, which may have come
from the biological progress moved into the psychological field. WR: Yes, that’s the point with you. K: Now how is a man, or a woman,
how is a human being, to break this pattern without time? You understand my question?
WR: Yes, yes. It is only by seeing. K: No, I can’t see if I am caught in
this blasted ugliness of progress. And you say it is only by seeing,
and I say I can’t see. WR: Then you can’t. K: No, but I want
to enquire into it, sir. That is, why have we given
progress in quotes, such importance, psychologically? IS: I am not a scholar so that
I come from the practical side. May I come in for a moment please? I am a practitioner but I have done my practice
in a Buddhist field, and to me personally as a Westerner,
as a one-time scientist, I have found the most satisfactory
answer in the Buddhist teaching that I blind myself;
I am my own obstacle, as long as I with all my
bundle of conditioning, am here, I cannot see and act.
It seems to be a possibility. K: That doesn’t help,
that doesn’t help. You are saying
that I have learnt that. IS: I have learnt it but I have learnt it in the same way
as one learns to play the piano rather than in the way
of studying a subject. That is the point that
I would like to contribute. K: No, again you are going
back to playing the piano, which means practice. Not practice, sorry, good pianists
don’t practise I have been told. IS: I must have practised
in order to become it. K: So what are we talking about
at the end of this? GN: There seems to be
one difficulty in this. Knowledge has a certain fascination,
a certain power. One accumulates knowledge, whether
it is Buddhist or scientific, and it gives you
a peculiar sense of freedom, though it is not freedom, it’s more in the realm
of conventional freedom. And after years of study one finds
it very difficult to get out of this because through years, twenty, twenty-five years
you arrive at this, and you value it, and it hasn’t got the quality
of what you might call truth. And the difficulty with all practice
seems to be that – when you practise
you achieve something; and achievement is
of the conventional reality type, it has got a certain power,
a certain fascination, a certain capacity,
maybe a certain clarity. WR: By that you get attached to it.
GN: Yes. And to break away from it is much
more difficult than for a beginner, a beginner who has
not got these things may see something more directly than a man who has so much
of acquired wisdom. IS: Maybe. GN: Is it so? WR: That depends on the individual. You can’t generalise. GN: No, one can’t generalise. K: One can, sir, if I may point out,
one can generalise as a principle. WR: As a principle, in which way? K: I mean – let’s come back to it. We are all caught
in this idea of progress. Right? Attainment. WR: Let us come to an agreement
on that point that humanity accepts as a fact progress is a gradual
evolutionary matter. As you said, biologically
they accepted, and proved so they apply the same theory
to psychological things. We agree it is
the humanity’s position. K: So I say, is that the truth? I may have accepted biological
progress, biological evolution which I have gradually transferred
to psychological existence. Now I say is that the truth?
WR: Now I see your question. I don’t think it is true. K: Therefore, just a minute, I abandon the whole
idea of discipline. WR: When you see that.
K: No, no. WR: I should say that there
is no question of abandoning. If you abandon it consciously… K: No, sir, just a minute. I see what human beings have done which is move from the biological
to the psychological, and there they have invented
this idea that eventually you will come to godhead,
or evolution, enlightenment, reach Brahman, reach whatever it is,
nirvana or paradise, or hell also. If when a human being
sees the falseness of it, actually not theoretically, then it is finished. WR: Absolutely, that is
what I tell you all this time. K: Therefore why should I then
acquire knowledge of scriptures, of this or that,
psychologically? WR: It is not necessary. K: Then why do I read the Buddha? WR: That is what I told you
we are all conditioned. DB: I may say to you, could I ask a question that do you
accept that we are all conditioned? K: Dr Bohm asks: do we all
accept that we are conditioned? WR: I don’t know whether
you accept or not, I accept it. WR: And there is nobody
[who is not] in time. To be in time is to be conditioned. K: No, Dr Bohm is asking: the implication of his question is – need I translate
what you are asking? Go on sir. It’s your show now. DB: Well? I am really saying that
– how can I put it? I think that Krishnaji has said,
at least in some of our discussions, that he was not deeply conditioned
in the beginning and that therefore he had a certain
insight which would not be common. Is that fair?
WR: I don’t find it… K: He is referring to me, sir,
leave me. I may be a biological freak,
so leave me out of it. That is not totally important. What we are trying to discuss, sir,
is this: that psychologically
can we admit the truth that there is no movement forward – the truth of it,
not the idea of it. You understand what I said, sir?
WR: Yes, I understand. K: The truth of it,
not I accept the idea of it, the idea is not the truth! So do we as human beings see the truth or the falseness
of what we have done? WR: You mean human beings generally? K: The whole world! WR: No, they don’t see,
they certainly don’t. K: Therefore when you are
telling them: get more knowledge, read this, read that, scripture, what the Buddha said, what Christ said,
if he existed at all, and so on and so on, they are full of this
accumulative instinct which will help them to jump
or propel themselves into heaven. WR: Yes. You want to say something? DB: When we say
we are all conditioned, how do we establish that, how do we know
that we are all conditioned? That is really what I wanted to say. K: Yes, his question is, sir,
are all human beings conditioned? WR: That is a very
complicated question. As far as our society is concerned,
all are conditioned. There can’t be anybody
who is not conditioned because he is within type. But what we are talking about is the realisation of truth
which has no time which is unconditioned. But you can’t say it is a human
being as you take humanity. DB: But I really
wanted to emphasise that if we say
we are all conditioned, there could be two ways, you see. One way would be to look, accumulating knowledge
about our conditioning, to say we observe
the common human experience, we can look at people and see that they are generally conditioned.
Right? And the other way
would be to say, do we directly see in a more direct
way that we are all conditioned? That’s really
what I was trying to drive at. WR: That of course, I should say
there are people who see that. K: But does that, sir,
help in this matter? I mean, there may be,
or there may not be. DB: You see, the only point
I was trying to make was that, if we say we are all conditioned, then I think that
there is nothing else to do but some kind of disciplined
or gradual approach. That is, you begin
with your conditioning. K: Not necessarily.
I don’t see that. DB: Well, let’s try to pursue it. That’s the way I take your question,
the implication of his question, Dr Rahula’s question,
that if we begin all conditioned… K: Which we are.
DB: Which we are, then what can we do
for the next step? WR: There is nothing
called ‘the next step’. DB: How can we be sure, how can we be free
of the conditioning as we do whatever we do? WR: The freedom from conditioning
is to see. DB: Well, the same question
– how do we see? WR: That of course many people
have tried various ways. K: No, no,
there are no various ways. The moment you say a way,
you have already conditioned him. WR: That is what I say. All that is finished.
That is what I say. And you are also conditioning
by your talks. But what I say is your talks, your lectures and teachings
are also conditioning. Trying to uncondition the mind
is also conditioning it. K: No, no, I question that statement whether what we are talking about
conditions the mind, the mind being the brain,
the thoughts, the feelings, the whole human
psychological existence, whether what K is talking about
conditions the mind. I doubt it, I question it. WR: I think… K: If I may say, we are going off
from the central issue. WR: Yes. The question is how to see it
– is this so? K: No, sir, no. Not ‘how’, there is no how. First, let us see
this simple fact, sir, do I, as a human being and therefore representative
of all humanity… I am a human being
– right? – and therefore I represent
all humanity. Right? IS: In an individual way. K: No, as a human being,
I represent you, the whole world, because I suffer,
I go through agony, mental, etc., etc., etc.,
so does every human being. So do I, as a human being,
see the falseness, the step human beings have taken moving from the biological
to the psychological, with the same mentality? There, progress, from the little
to the big and so on, so on, from the wheel to the jet. As a human being,
do I see the mischief that human beings have created
moving from there to this? You understand?
WR: Yes, yes. I follow. K: Do I see it,
as I see the table? Or is it I say, ‘Yes, I accept
the theory of it, the idea of it’, and then we are lost. Therefore the idea,
the theory is the knowledge. IS: If I see it as this table,
then it is not a theory any more. K: It is a fact. But the moment you
move away from the fact it becomes idea, knowledge,
and the pursuit of it. IS: And it has further and further
pictures creating itself. K: Further away from the fact. I don’t know
if I am making myself clear. WR: Yes, quite so.
I guess that is so. K: What is?
Human beings move away? WR: Human beings
are cornered in that. K: No, no, no. Sir, it is a fact
– isn’t it? – that there is biological progress,
a little tree to a gigantic tree, from a baby and all the rest of it
– boyhood, adolescence. Now have we moved with that
mentality, with that idea, with that fact
into the psychological field and created there
the fact that we progress, which is a false movement? I wonder
if I am making myself clear. DB: Are you saying
that is part of the conditioning? K: No, don’t… leave
the conditioning for the moment. I don’t want to enter into that. Sir, would you say, why have we taken over
from the biological growth into the psychological growth,
why? Which is a fact,
why have we done this? IS: I wanted to become something. K: Which is you want satisfaction,
you want safety, certainty, a sense of achievement. IS: And it is in that want
that pushes on… K: So why doesn’t a human being see what he has done,
actually, not theoretically? IS: As an ordinary human being.
K: You, I, X, Y, you. IS: I do not like to see it.
I do fear it. I try to put it extremely far. K: Therefore you are
living in an illusion. IS: Naturally. K: Why? IS: I want to be something…
K: No, no. IS:…which I fear
at the same time not to see. This is where the divide is. K: You have a false fear,
there is no fear. No, madam. When you see what you have done
there is no fear. IS: But the fact is,
that I usually do not see it. K: Why don’t you see it? IS: I suspect because of fear. I don’t know why.
I don’t want to. K: You are entering into quite
a different field of fear. But I would just like to know
as an enquiry, why human beings have done this, played this game for millennia. You understand, sir? Why this living
in this false structure, and then people
come along and say, ‘Be unselfish, be this’
and all the rest of it. WR: Why? IS: All we human beings we have
a very strong irrational side in us, an irrational side,
I think that cannot be quite denied. K: I question all this.
IS: You question it? K: Because we are living not with facts
but with ideas and knowledge. WR: Certainly, certainly. K: Not with facts. The fact is: biologically there is,
psychologically there isn’t. And so we give importance
to knowledge, ideas, theories, philosophy, and all the rest of it. WR: You don’t agree at all,
you don’t see at all that a certain development,
an evolution, even psychologically? K: No. WR: A man who has been very
undesirable, criminal, telling lies, stealing and all these things, you explain to him certain very
fundamental, very elementary things, and he is changed into
– in our conventional sense – a better man, now he does not steal,
now he does not tell lies, he does not try to kill others.
K: He is a terrorist. WR: The man
who is changed like that? K: Yes. Are you saying, sir,
a man who is ‘evil’, the terrorists that are
going around the world, what is their future? Are you asking that? WR: No. Don’t you agree
a criminal in the accepted sense… K:Accepted,
the word ‘criminal’, yes. WR: You meet a criminal like that, you explain to him
the wrong way that he lives, and he realises
what you have said either because of the ideas
he has realised or because of your personal
influence, or whatever it may be, he transforms himself,
he changes himself. K: I am not sure, sir.
I am not sure. A criminal, in the orthodox
sense of that word, whether you can talk to him at all. WR: That, I don’t know. K: I mean, you can pacify him,
you know, give him a reward and this and that, but an actual criminal-minded man, will he ever listen to any sanity? The terrorist
– you know, sir, the terrorists – will he listen to you,
to your sanity? Of course not. WR: That you can’t say, I don’t
know. I am not so positive about it. K: That is what’s happening, sir. WR: But I have no proof,
I can’t say that. K: I have no proof either,
but you can see what is happening. WR: What is happening is,
there are terrorists and we don’t know whether
any terrorist was transformed and converted to be a good man.
We have no proof. K: You see, that is my whole thing. The bad man evolved into a good man. WR: That in the popular sense
and the conventional sense, certainly there is,
I can’t deny that. K: I don’t quite follow. WR: A bad man…
K: Quotes, ‘bad’ man. WR: Yes, that’s right,
within inverted commas. A bad man, or a criminal,
changing his way of life and becoming a ‘good’ man
– good also in inverted commas. K: Yes, we know that,
we have dozens of examples. WR: Don’t we accept that at all? K: But, no, wait a minute, sir,
wait a minute. Bad man who tells lies, who does cruel things, and so on, probably one day he realises
that’s an ugly business, and says,
‘I’ll change and become good’, but that is not goodness. Goodness is not born out of badness. WR: No, badness, certainly not. K: Therefore the ‘bad’ man,
in quotes, can never become the good man,
non quotes. WR: No, I would quote surely,
‘goodness’. K: Ah, goodness is not
the opposite of the bad. WR: At that level, it is.
K: At any level. WR: I don’t agree. GN: We might put it this way. In the reality level,
conventional level, the bad man becomes the good man. I think we carry that phrase,
that attitude to the progress psychologically. That’s one thing we do,
the human mind does. WR: That is what we were
talking about. That is, transfer of this idea
to the psychological realm. K: No, I would like to… Sir, you… were you going
to say something? GN: The other thing is, we seem to feel that
that psychological progress is the only way the bad man becomes
the good man at the relative level. K: I don’t want even to… you see, Narayan, you are making it
again a relative thing. Sir, may I put it this way:
is there an opposite? GN: At the relative level?
K: No, at any level – psychological, of course, you are wearing yellow
and I am wearing brown, the opposite: night and day,
man and woman and so on, so on. But is there an opposite of fear? Is there an opposite of goodness? Is love the opposite of hate? WR: Yes, if you ask me… K: Opposite, which means duality. WR: Yes, certainly,
I would say this – we are talking in dualistic terms. K: All language is
dualistic as it is. WR: You can’t talk, I can’t talk
without dualistic approach. K: Yes, sir, comparing, judging.
But I am not talking of that. WR: And at the moment you speak
about the absolute, the ultimate, when we talk good and bad we are talking
in the dualistic level. K: No, that’s why
I want to move away. WR: You can’t talk
about the absolute in terms of good or bad, there is nothing called
absolute good, or bad. K: No, no, sir. Is courage the opposite of fear? That is, if fear is non-existent,
is it courage? Or it is something
totally different? IS: It is something
totally different. K: Therefore it is not the opposite. Goodness is never
the opposite of bad. So what are we talking about
when we say, ‘I will move, change from my conditioning, which is bad, to freedom from conditioning,
which is good’? Therefore freedom is
the opposite of my conditioning. Therefore it is not freedom at all! That freedom is born
out of my conditioning, because I am caught in this prison
and I want to be free. It is a reaction to the prison,
which is not freedom. WR: I don’t quite follow. K: Sir, could we
consider for a minute: is love the opposite of hate? WR: The only thing you can say is, where there is love
there is no hate. K: Ah, no, no. I am asking
quite a different question. I am asking: is hate
the opposite of affection, love? If it is, then in that affection,
in that love, there is hate because it is born out of hate,
out of the opposite. All opposites are born out
of their own opposites. No? WR: I don’t know.
That is what you say. K: But it is a fact, sir.
Look, I am afraid and I cultivate courage
in order to put away fear. I take a drink, or you know,
all the rest of it, to get rid of fear. And at the end of it I say
I am very courageous. All the war heroes
and all the rest of them are given medals for this
because they are frightened and they say, ‘We must go and kill’
or do something, and they are very courageous
– heroes. WR: That is not courage. K: Therefore I am saying
anything born out of its opposite contains its own opposite. WR: How? K: Sir, if someone hates and then says I must love, that love is born out of hate,
because he knows what hate is and he says, ‘I must not be that,
and I must be that’. So that is the opposite of this. Therefore that opposite
contains this. WR: I don’t know
whether it is the opposite. K: That is how we live, sir! This is what we do! I am sexual, I must not be sexual. I take a vow of celibacy
– not I – people take a vow of celibacy
which is the opposite. So we are always caught
in this corridor of opposites. And I question the whole corridor. I don’t think it exists. We have invented it, but actually it doesn’t exist. I mean, please, this is explanation,
don’t accept anything, sir. IS: Personally from the way in which I, where I stand
at this moment, see it, and I claim no possibilities for either the truth of it,
or something, it is a working hypothesis.
K: No, madam, you can… IS: I see this channel
as a humanising factor. K: Which? IS: This channel of opposites,
we are caught in it. K: Oh no,
that is not a humanising factor! That is like saying ‘I have been a tribal entity,
now I have become a nation, and then ultimately international’
– it is still tribalism going on. IS: No. That I quite agree. I see it in the sense
of a really barbaric stage, I could have laughed
when you had broken your leg, nowadays I could
not laugh any more. I mean it in that sense. DB: I think we do actually – I think both of you are saying
we do in some sense make progress, in the sense that we’re not
as barbaric as before. Right? IS: That is what I mean
as the humanising factor. DB: That’s what I think
you both are saying. K: I question
whether it is humanising. WR: I don’t like to go
to extremes of the fact. K: No, this is not extremes, this is
just facts. Facts are not extreme! DB: Are you saying that
this is not a genuine progress? You see, in the past people were
far more barbaric generally than they are today, and therefore would you say that
that really doesn’t mean very much? K: I don’t quite follow.
DB: Well, some people would
point to their past and say there was
a great deal of barbarism then. K: We are still barbarous.
DB: Yes, we are, but some people say
we are not as barbaric as… K: Not ‘as’. DB: Let’s see
if we can get it straight. Now would you say that that is not
important, that is not significant? K: No. When I say
I am better than I was – it has no meaning. DB: You say that has no meaning
to say that. K: Absolutely, it has no meaning.
DB: I think we should clarify that. WR: In the relative, dualistic sense
I don’t accept that. I can’t see that. But in the absolute, ultimate sense
there is nothing like that. K: No, not ultimately – I won’t even
accept that word ‘ultimately’. I see how the opposite is born in everyday life, not ultimately. I am greedy, that’s a fact. I try to become non-greedy,
which is non-fact, but if I remain with the fact
I am greedy, then I can do something about it
actually, now. Therefore there is no opposite. Sir, you know
violence and non-violence. Non-violence is
the opposite of violence, as an ideal. So non-violence is non-fact. Violence is the only fact. Right? So I can then deal with facts,
not with non-facts. WR: So what is your point? K: My point is: there is no duality
even in daily life. It is the invention of all these
philosophers, intellectuals, who say there is the opposite,
work for that. The Utopians, the idealists. The fact is I am violent,
that’s all. Let me deal with that. And to deal with it
don’t invent non-violence. IS: The question therefore is:
how am I now going to deal with it having accepted the fact
that I am violent… K: No, not accepted, it’s a fact.
IS:…having seen it. K: Then we can proceed,
I’ll show you. IS: And the question is
how to proceed. K: We’ll proceed with that. But first I must see
what I have done. I avoid the fact
and run away to non-fact. That is what is happening
in the world – all over. So don’t run
but remain with the fact. Can you do it? IS: It is part of our training. That is part of the training
that I learnt. That is precisely the point. K: I am sorry,
I won’t accept the word ‘training’. IS: Well, it is precisely this
‘can you do it’… K: I said of course you can do it. IS:…and one does it though one
very often does not like doing it. K: It is like seeing
something dangerous and you say, ‘It’s dangerous,
I won’t go near it’. Running away from the fact
is dangerous. Finished.
You don’t run. That doesn’t mean you train,
you practise not to run, you don’t run. I think the gurus have invented
this running, the philosophers. Sorry. WR: There is no running away.
That is entirely different. It is a wrong way of putting it.
K: No, sir. WR: You can’t run away.
K: No, I am saying, look. WR: If you see,
there is no running in it. K: I am saying, don’t run. Then you see. Ah, no, don’t run,
then you see. But we say, ‘I can’t see
because I am caught in that’. WR: Now I quite see that,
what you say, your point, I see very well. K: So, there is no duality. WR: Where? K: Now, in daily life,
not ultimately. WR: What is duality? K: Which is the opposite. Violence and non-violence. The whole of, you know, India has
been practising non-violence which is nonsense. There is only violence,
let me deal with that. Let human beings deal with violence,
not with the ideal of non-violence. WR: Yes, that is of course
quite a different question, what you are talking.
K: No. WR: I fully agree, if you see the fact, this is a fact,
we must handle this. K: Therefore there is no progress. WR: That’s a word
you can use anyway. K: No, not any way.
WR: It is simply a word. K: No, sir, no sir. When we have an ideal, to achieve that ideal I need time. Right? Therefore I will evolve to that. WR: So?
K: So no ideals. Only facts. WR: It is perfectly so. What is
the difference, the argument? We agree there are only facts. K: Which means, sir, to look at facts
time is not necessary. WR: Absolutely not. K: Therefore if time
is not necessary, I can see it now. WR: Yes, certainly.
K: You can see it now. Why don’t you? WR: Why don’t you?
That is another question. K: No, no, no.
WR: Yes. K: No, no, not another question.
DB: It’s the same. If you take it seriously
that time is not necessary, then right now one could perhaps
clear up the whole thing. WR: Yes, that does not mean
all human beings can do it, there are people who can do it. K: No.
If I can see it, you can see it. WR: I don’t think so.
I don’t agree with you frankly. K: It is not a question
of agreement, sir, I am not trying to argue
about this matter, so there is no agreement
or disagreement. But when we have ideals
away from facts time is necessary to get there, progress is necessary. I must have knowledge to progress. All that comes in. Right? So can you abandon ideals? WR: It is possible.
K: Ah, not ‘possible’! The moment you use
the word ‘possible’ you say time is necessary. WR: I mean seeing the facts… K: Do it now, do it, sir, not – forgive me,
I am not being authoritarian – when you say it is possible
you have already moved away. WR: I mean to say, that I must say
that everybody can’t do it. K: How do you know? WR: That is a fact. That is a fact. K: No, I won’t accept that. IS: May I perhaps come in
with a concrete example. I think we can possibly
come together on that. If I stand on a high
– a concrete fact – on a high springboard over
a swimming pool and I cannot swim and I am told just jump in
and relax completely, the water will carry you.
This is perfectly true, I can do it. There is nothing that prevents me except that I am
frightened of doing it. That is I think
the point in question. And therefore this is
I think the question. Of course we can all see,
there’s no difficulty but there is this basic fear which does not stand to reason
that makes us shy away. K: Please forgive me,
I am not talking of that, we are not saying that. If one realises that one is greedy,
why do we invent non-greed? IS: I wouldn’t know because
it seems to me so obvious that if I am greedy, then I am greedy. K: Now why do we have the opposite?
Why? All religions say
we mustn’t be greedy, all philosophers
if they are worth their salt, they say don’t be greedy,
or something else. Or if you are greedy,
you will not reach heaven. So they have always cultivated through tradition, through saints,
the whole gamut of it, cultivated this idea – the opposite. Right? So I don’t accept that. I say that is an escape from this. IS: Which it is.
It is a half way stage at best. K: It is an escape from this.
Right? And it won’t solve this problem. IS: It hasn’t solved.
K: It hasn’t. So to deal with the problem,
remove that. I can’t have one foot there
and one foot here. I must have both my feet here. IS: And if both my feet are here?
K: Wait, no. A simile, a simile. So I have no opposite, which implies time, progress,
practice, trying, becoming, the whole gamut of it. IS: So I see I am greedy,
or I am violent. K: So that requires
now we have to go into something entirely different.
IS: And then what? K: How is one, a human being
– not ‘how’ – can a human being
be free of greed now? That’s the question.
Not eventually. You see, I am not interested
in being greedy next life – who cares! – or the day after tomorrow,
I am not interested in it, I want to be free
of sorrow, pain, now. So I have no ideals at all.
Right, sir? Then I have only this fact,
I am greedy. Now, do we go into that? What is greed?
The very word is condemnatory. Right, sir? The word has been in my mind
for centuries, and that word ‘greed’
immediately condemns the fact. By saying ‘I am greedy’
I have already condemned it. Right? Now can I look at that fact without
the word with all its intimations, all its content,
with its tradition? Look at it. You cannot understand the depth
and the feeling of greed or be free of it if you are caught in words. So as my whole being is
concerned with greed, it says, ‘All right, I won’t be caught in it,
I won’t use the word ‘greed’’. Right? Now, is that feeling
devoid of the word, divorced from the word ‘greed’? IS: No, it isn’t. WR: It has no word.
K: No, no. IS: Please go on. K: So, as my mind
is full of words and caught in words, can it look at something, greed,
without the word? WR: That is really seeing the fact.
K: Then only I see the fact. Then only I see the fact.
WR: Yes, without the word. K: Therefore it has no value.
Finished! This is where the difficulty lies,
sir. I want to be free of greed because it is in my blood,
my tradition, my upbringing, education, everything says be free
of that ugly thing. So I am all the time making
an effort to be free of that. Right? I am not educated, thank god,
on those lines. So I say, all right, I have only fact, the fact is I am greedy. Right? I want to understand the nature
and the structure of that word, of that feeling. What is it?
What is the nature of that feeling? Is it a remembrance? You understand, sir? If it is a remembrance, I am looking at it,
the present greed, with past remembrances. The past remembrances
have said condemn it. Can I look at it
without past remembrances? WR: Exactly.
K: I am going to show you. Right, sir? WR: Yes, if you can
see without – yes. K: I’ll show you,
go into it a little more because the past remembrance
condemns this and therefore strengthens this. Right? If it is something new,
I won’t condemn it. But because it is new but made old by remembrances,
by memories, by experience, I condemn it. So can I look at it
without the word, without the association of words? That doesn’t need discipline,
that doesn’t need practice, that doesn’t need some guide,
just to say, look, can I look at it without the word? Can I look at that tree,
woman, man, sky, heaven, bird, without the word and find out? But someone comes along
and tells me, ‘I’ll show you how to do it’, then I’m lost. I don’t know… And ‘how to do it’ is
the whole sacred books. Sorry. All the gurus,
all the bishops, the popes, the whole gang,
the whole cahoot of it. So, do we stop now?
GN: Yes, sir, I think we stop now. K: By Jove, we have been talking
an hour and a half. WR: It depends on you. I am very much interested,
I am not tired at all. K: We had better keep it
for tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon. Don’t let’s overeat! WR: There are several other things
that I would like to ask you tomorrow morning and afternoon.
K: Yes, sir. We’ll go into it.