It is our business as human beings to realize the enormous suffering, misery, confusion there is in the world. Do we realize with all seriousness our responsibility to the whole of mankind? Do we see that we are the world, it is not separate from us? What place has knowledge in changing the quality of a mind that has become brutal, violent, petty, selfish, greedy, ambitious? What are the limits of knowledge? Can there be freedom from the known, actually?
What place has knowledge in relationship? There must be freedom from the known, otherwise the known is merely the repetition of the past, tradition, the image. When the observer observes he is observing with memories, experience, hurts, despairs, hopes, with all that background of knowledge. Wherever there is the operation of the observer, who is the past, who is knowledge, in that activity there is division and therefore conflict in relationship.
What does it mean to be serious? In the word "communication" is implied the art of listening, which demands a quality of attention in which there is a real sense of having an insight as we go along each second. There is communion only when there is communication at the same moment, with the same intensity, passion. Responsibility means total commitment. Delegating responsibility I become irresponsible.
What is your responsibility for human growth, culture, goodness? What is your responsibility to the earth? When you feel responsible for a child, there is a flowering of real affection, care, you don't train him to kill for his country. Human beings are conditioned to be irresponsible. What are serious people to do with irresponsible people? In total responsibility, in which freedom and care go together, the mind has no images.
Can the mind be free of fear? Physical and psychological fears are interrelated. Conscious as well as unconscious fears that the mind has produced, cultivated. Can all these fears be exposed so that the mind sees them completely? Is there a way of dealing with fear, not with the branches of it, but with the root of it? Behind the words, the descriptions, the explanations, what is fear?
How has the phenomenon of disorder come about and what is order? Is it something imposed, a discipline, acceptance? Consumerism is now the pattern of the world. A mind caught in measurement can never find truth. Is it possible to look without measurement? Is it possible to live a life, the whole of life - living, acting, laughing, crying - without a shadow of comparison?
What is pleasure, what keeps it going? What is the pursuit, the constant direction of it? Seeing something really beautiful, breathtaking, then thought comes along and says, how extraordinary it was, what a delight. Isn't there then desire for repetition? Thought gives nourishment, sustains it and gives a direction to pleasure. Why should thought come into it at all? Being attentive means diligently watching.
What is pleasure? What is desire? We are not condemning pleasure, but observing it. To go into the question of pleasure one has to look into desire. How is very strong desire born, how does it take place in each one of us? Must it be controlled at all? Why has pleasure become so important in life? It is an extraordinary thing. To see a beautiful thing and to enjoy it, what is wrong with that?
What is seeing, listening, learning? Do we see actually or through a screen of prejudice, a screen of our experiences, wishes, pleasures, fears between us and the object? Do we ever see the thing at all? Does the act of listening bring complete freedom from all statements? I learn in order to gain reward or avoid punishment. Is there another kind of learning that is not accumulating and acting? Have we learned anything? What is there to learn?
What is beauty? Has man lost touch with nature? Must beauty be expressed, does it need the word, the stone, colour, paint? Or is it something that cannot be put into words, buildings, statues? Understanding action. The seeing is the doing. Without passion you can't have beauty. Remaining with suffering brings passion. Passion means the complete abandonment of the self, and therefore the austerity of great beauty.
Can a man who is ambitious love? Is love pleasure or the expression of desire? Is it the fulfilment of sexual appetite or a thing that can be cultivated? Why have we made sex such an enormous affair? What is the relationship of joy, enjoyment and pleasure to love? To come upon this thing called love you must negate this whole thing and understand the place of pleasure. The mind being alone is pure. Compassion comes with intelligence.
What is a religious life? Religion is a gathering of all energy, at all levels. The religious mind is so attentive, the unnameable comes into being. What is the quality, structure, nature of a mind that can perceive something beyond the measurement of thought, something that is not only sacred and holy in itself but that is capable of seeing something immense? A mind that is hurt is not an innocent mind. Can our hurts be healed so that not a mark is left?
What actually is living, this whole field of man's endeavour to better himself, not only in the technological world but also psychologically? Man wants to be different, he wants to be more than he is. Is there a way of living without conflict? As a human being am I ever conscious? What is consciousness? Is it its content? What is death? Is it a continuity of that consciousness? Or is death the ending of consciousness with its content?
What is death? You cannot understand death unless you are free of fear. Death becomes part of living when the content of consciousness comes to an end. Can that content be emptied, empty itself? Observing the whole content, the hidden as well as the open, the collective, the personal, the racial, the transitory. Immortality is not what thought has invented. You can be reborn, regenerated totally if you die to the content. So living is dying.
What is religion? In the world of Islam and in the world of Buddhism the same principle goes on, worshipping an image which has been created by human beings. Can the mind observe this phenomenon and see its own demand for security, comfort, safety, permanency and deny all that? Why does the mind accept the authority and tyranny of a petty little guru and deny it politically? What is behind the acceptance of authority?
What is religion, God, immortality, beauty? Can the mind be free of authority and put aside totally all the structure of thought with regard to religion, God? Can wisdom be sought through a book, a teacher, through sacrifice, torture, renunciation? Can this mind, which is the mind of the world, empty itself of all the things that man has said about reality, and be free of all the things that are born of fear, desire and pleasure?
Do we accept the orthodox, traditional systems of meditation? Could we honestly put away all that and ask what it is? If I start by saying I do not know what meditation is, then I'm free to flow in the enquiry. Is meditation divorced from daily living or does it cover the whole field of existence? In my enquiry am I awake or is the past so alive that it is dictating my life in the present?
Control, direction, will, have no place in meditation. Can you be choicelessly aware of this movement of desire, control, will, action - can you watch it? What is space? Can the mind have space? When the mind is occupied with daily living, is there space? When knowledge occupies the whole field of the mind there is no space. Outward space will not give inner space. No silence when there is direction. When the mind is utterly silent what is the immeasurable?