Sunday, December 25, 1966
I believe this is the last talk, at least for this year. There is no end to collecting ideas, to multiplying words, to gathering knowledge and information. But to act seems to be one of the most difficult things to do – to act sanely, healthily, without any conflict, with a certain quality of mind that is total, that is not distorted by conditioning, by the environment in which one lives, by all the strains and stresses that human beings are heir to. Apparently, it is much more easy to discuss ideas, theories, rather than to live a rich, full day without any problem, without disturbance, without misery and sorrow.
It seems to be one of the most difficult things in life to live completely, totally – not fragmentarily, but as a total human being – whether you are in your office or in your home, or whether you are walking in a wood. It is only complete action that brings about intelligence. Total action is intelligence. But we live in fragments – as a family man opposed to the rest of the world, as a religious man, if one is at all religious, having peculiar theories, ideas, separate beliefs and dogmas. And, one is always struggling to achieve a status, a position, a prestige, whether that status is worldly or saintly. One is always striving, striving. There is never a moment when the mind is completely empty and therefore silent. And out of silence action takes place. We are no longer original; we are the result, as we have said over and over again, of our environments, of circumstances, of the culture, the tradition in which we live, and we accept that. And to change always demands a great deal of energy.
It is very easy to discuss ideas – that does not demand much energy. Theories, quoting somebody or other – all that does not demand much energy, interest, drive. But, to bring about a total revolution in oneself – that demands tremendous energy. And, to have that energy, man has tried several things; he has become a monk, shutting out all the temptations of the world, withdrawing, isolating himself from the world. But inwardly he is still tortured, inwardly he is still burning with his desires, with his ideas, opinions, what somebody has said or not said. So, outwardly you may withdraw, but inwardly there is always conflict, a striving. So this strife, this struggle, wastes energy. So, one must have tremendous energy to change. That is fairly obvious. Even to stop smoking, if you are so inclined, you must have a certain energy. To observe why you smoke, what is the process of it, and so on – that demands a certain energy. To give it up also demands energy, as it demands energy to get into the habit of smoking. Perhaps it demands greater energy to give it up.
But we have to understand this whole process of living which is very complex. We live very superficially; outwardly we may perhaps lead a very simple life, but inwardly, inside the skin as it were, we are very complex human beings. The motives, the ambitions, the greed, the frustration, the fears, the competition, and the everlasting fear and sorrow – all that is going on inwardly. Now, to bring about a radical transformation in all that demands a great energy, which is obvious. Now, is it possible to have this energy without any conflict? Because, we have considered that the gathering of energy is through effort, that is, one thinks that the more effort one makes, the more energy one has, isn't it?
Please, as we said, don't merely listen to words or to the ideas. Listen with your heart and mind, neither taking sides nor opposing, nor offering your own particular opinion – just listen. The speaker is doing all the work when he talks. All that you have to do is to listen. And, if you know how to listen, then you are also working with the speaker. But, if you are merely listening – hearing words and translating those words into opinions, or opposing those words with your own ideas, or comparing those words with what has been said by previous teachers, and so on – then you are not sharing; then you are wasting your energy. Whereas, you have to listen – as you would to a bird in the morning, as you would listen to all the various notes – neither rejecting nor opposing, but just listen with intensity, with affection, with a tremendous enjoyment. Because, it is only when we listen with our heart and mind totally that that very listening is an end in itself. Then you don't have to do anything. Because, then the seed has taken its place, and the seed, if it is vital, will bring its own fruit. But, if you merely oppose because you are a Sikh, a Hindu, a Muslim, or God knows what else, or if you are tortured by a particular problem and you want that particular problem to be resolved, then you are listening with a fragmentary mind, listening partially. This partial listening, this inattention, is the very essence of waste of energy. Either you listen completely or don't listen at all.
You have to give your whole attention to your sorrow and all the things involved in it – the loneliness, the lack of companionship, the frustration, the misery, the endless annoyance. You will not give your whole attention to it if you want your sorrow to be solved in a particular way, according to a particular pattern; then that demand that it should be solved in a particular way is a waste of energy. But, if you only listen with care, watching every movement of thought, without stopping, watching it with great, minute attention, then you will see for yourself that the problem which loomed large no longer matters at all. Because, that very attention is the energy which resolves the problem.
This evening, if we may, we are going to consider the gathering of this energy to tackle all human problems. We have many problems, not a single problem; and every problem is related to another problem. If one can solve one problem completely – it does not matter what it is – then you will see that you will be able to meet other problems easily and dissolve them. It is inattention that breeds mischief, not attention. And, to know when you are inattentive is to be attentive. You understand? To know I am lazy, to be aware I am lazy, is already to be active. But, when I am not aware that I am lazy, when I am not aware that I am inattentive, then begins the mischief and the misery of the problem. Do listen to this, please, because we are talking about your life, your daily anxiety, your daily misery, your daily conflict, the insults, and so on. And to resolve all that, not partially but totally, demands great energy.
And we are going to find out this evening if we can communicate to each other this energy. And, to communicate about anything, there must be contact. To communicate about any problem, there must be contact with the word and the meaning of the word – not translate the word as you wish it to be. This means, when there is communication, both the people must be in a state of attention. If I am telling you something, you must be attentive, you must be interested, you must care. But, if you are not attentive, if you are merely waiting to be stimulated, or waiting to be told what to do, then communication ceases. Because, we are not going to tell you what to do. For generations upon generations you have been told what to do. Your teachers, your gurus, your politicians, your books and everything have told you what to do, what to think – not how to think, but what to think – and that pattern, that tradition, has been established. And, you are waiting to be told what to do. But we are not concerned with such a triviality as what you should or should not do – that will come to you when you give attention. Then you will find out for yourself, out of your own mind, out of your own heart.
So, we are going to consider, this evening, the gathering of this energy that is not generated through stimulation. Please listen to all this carefully. Most of us depend on stimulation. Either you take hashish or LSD, or this or that, for stimulation. There are different forms of stimulation, both outward and inward. The outward we know, which is fairly simple: a ritual, a repetition of a phrase, reading a book, depending on something external which gives one a certain stimulation. Or, inwardly you derive stimulation through your desire, through your pleasure, through an idea which is very stimulating. But we are talking of energy which is not dependent on stimulation. Because, the moment you are dependent on something, you are already wasting your energy. You understand all this, sirs? You know, most of us de-pend – and we must depend – on food, clothes, and shelter; that is obvious. Don't let us mix the two. You must have food, you must have clothes, you must have shelter. We depend upon the postman, the milkman, the railway, our bureaucracy, and so on and so on. But we also depend on others inwardly. Inwardly we are desperately lonely. And out of the fear of that loneliness, of that emptiness, inwardly we depend on people, and the people then become the stimulus. And the moment there is a stimulant, whether it is a psychological stimulant or an outward stimulant, that stimulant dulls the mind. Do you understand? You drink coffee, tea, or alcohol; when you keep on drinking it, you will need more and more, which makes the mind more and more dull – not sensitive, alert, awake. So, when one realizes that any form of outward or inward stimulation breeds inevitably a sort of indifference and dullness, and when one sees the truth of it, the stimulation naturally will drop away. In that there is no conflict; it is conflict that wastes energy. You understand, sirs?
Our life is a conflict from the days of the school – where we compete with another, try to get better marks in an examination – to the days of the college, the university. And then, in getting a job, there is conflict for getting a better job, competing with another for arriving at a certain position, a certain status, and then demanding more status and so on. From the beginning to the end, we are perpetually in conflict, striving, striving, emotionally as well as intellectually. And this effort, like all effort, which is friction, does not make the mind subtle and capable of functioning freely. Every effort is a distortion. I hope you are following all this.
It is only when effort ceases that you have an unbounding energy inwardly, so that your mind remains crystal clear and can tackle any human problem. So, for this energy to come into being totally, one must understand effort – not ask the speaker: How am I to live without effort? That would be too silly. Because, then, if I would be foolish enough to tell you how to do it, then you would try to follow that system. In the very following of that system you are making an effort and therefore destroying the very thing that you want to bring about. But, if you understand the nature and the structure of effort, then you will have energy to deal with the problem, or do what you have to do, much more efficiently. You understand, sirs?
The world is divided socially – the high, the middle, and the low – isn't it? The high have all the prestige, the position, the wealth, the power, and they want to hold it. That is what is happening in this country – one political party has the power, position, prestige, and what not, and wants to hold it; and it is going to make tremendous effort to hold it. The middle wants to come to the top and push the high away. This is called revolution. And the middle becomes the high and then holds on to power until again the low comes and pushes it away. This pattern is repeated over and over again.
Now, man in society is seeking prestige, status, through function. Right? You make a tremendous difference between the prime minister and the cook. Not only outwardly, but psychologically, inwardly, to you status matters much more than function. Because, with the function you have identified status. And, hence, when status becomes so tremendously important, as it does throughout the world, then function becomes less and less efficient. Then you are not attentive to function; your eyes are on status. Right? So, conflict between function and status – the struggle to achieve status through function – becomes the purpose of existence. This is what is actually taking place. And, hence, we are all the time increasing conflict. The saints do this, only in their own way, they want to achieve heaven, break the record for fasting, or burn themselves, and so on. And, to them, status matters very much, not what actually they are. How petty, how silly human beings are!
And so, we have to bring about a change in the shallow mind because most of us have very shallow, petty little minds – whether it is the saint or the chief minister or God knows who else. And, these minds are everlastingly making effort to become something different. You follow all this? But, the moment you are attentive to your shallow mind, the moment you are aware that you are shallow, narrow, limited, petty, you will see in that state of attention you are no longer petty. If once you understand this principle – understand it, not repeat it, not quote it – what the speaker is saying has no importance at all. The speaker is not at all important; what is important is that you listen and see if it is true and carry it out with all your heart and mind.
So, we need energy, and that energy is wasted when there is conflict. Please listen very carefully to what is going to be said. Conflict will continue as long as you are seeking pleasure. Because, most of us want pleasure. That is the thing we live by: sexual pleasure, appetite of various kinds, pleasure that you derive from status, from position, from prestige, out of your capacity, out of your knowledge. And pleasure arises, comes into being, is put together, through thought. That is fairly simple, isn't it? Thought creates pleasure. I think about something that has given me pleasure for a moment, and the more I think about it, the more I give strength to that pleasure. It is fairly simple, how pleasure begins. And, as long as the mind is seeking pleasure, there is always the fear of not having it. And, as long as there is fear, there is effort to run away from it, to resolve it, to do something – which is a waste of energy. You understand? One has to see the structure, the meaning of pleasure, just to understand it, not intellectually.
You know the word understanding is so misused. We say we understand intellectually, which is sheer nonsense. You don't understand anything intellectually. What you mean when you say, « I understand intellectually, » is, « I understand the words that you are using and I understand the meaning of those words, but not the content of the whole thing. » You can only understand something totally when you are listening to it silently and completely. You understand? This happens to all of us. You understand something completely when you are quiet. Out of silence there is understanding, not out of your chattering.
So, you have to understand the nature of pleasure, its structure, how it begins very unexpectedly, very slowly, without your knowing. You see a beautiful sunset, a lovely face, or have some kind of sexual or other experience, and you want to repeat it. The repetition is a process of thinking about it. And, the more you repeat, the more mechanical it becomes. You can go every evening to look at the sunset, but you will never see it because out of that sunset you are deriving a pleasure: you are not looking at the sunset. You want the pleasure which that sunset gave you two days ago. So, as long as there is any demand for pleasure, there must be conflict. But, we are not talking of puritanical banishment of pleasure; on the contrary, if you understand the whole structure of pleasure, then you will have tremendous joy in life. Because, joy is entirely different from pleasure. You cannot think about joy, but you can think about pleasure. Have you not noticed it?
So, one has to understand not only effort, but the whole meaning and the significance of pleasure, not cut away pleasure, which monks have tried in their monasteries, which the sannyasis also have tried – they will never look at a woman because they are so frightened, and so on. Because, to them, pleasure is something very wrong: they consider it a sin. And, therefore, they have destroyed the vitality of understanding. Because they have said this is wrong, they have never examined the whole structure of pleasure. So, one has to understand not only effort but also pleasure, because in pleasure there is fear and therefore pain. You understand? Where there is a search for pleasure, there is fear, and it is this fear that creates pain. So, if you are willing to put up with pleasure, with fear and pain, go to it; but know all the implications of it, don't just slip into it. But, if you give your whole attention to it, then you will find that you can look at a sunset and not let pleasure creep in, which means no thought of wanting the repetition of it. Therefore, when you look at a sunset, or at a face, or anything – at a bird, or the beauty of water, a sheet of water shimmering in the sun – look at it without thought, there is in that tremendous joy; therefore, there is no pain, no fear, and therefore there is an end to effort.
And we also make an effort when we are trying to become something. Schoolboys trying to pass an examination are becoming, are making an effort. This is not the occasion to talk about the whole business of education – we touched it for the moment. Inwardly, we want to be something. I do not know if you have noticed ever in yourself how you are craving to be somebody famous, full of knowledge – you know all the things that one imagines. Why do we do this? Why do we want to be somebody? Why do we want to be a hero, like somebody else? Most of you do. Why?
Again, one has to understand this. Because, inwardly, we are empty, we are shallow human beings, shoddy little human beings. I do not know if you have ever seen a horse galloping at full speed and a little man riding on top of it; the horse is much more useful, has more beauty, is full of power and joy. And the man who owns that horse is a very small man, with a little mind, frightened. And that is what we are. We want to be outwardly something, but inwardly we are utterly empty, full of memories, full of knowledge – which is of the past, the dead ashes of something which we have lived or remembered or experienced. And, because we are empty, we are frightened of that, and therefore we are trying everlastingly to become something. But, if you give complete attention to that emptiness, not trying to alter it, not trying to say that you will do something about it, when you are completely attentive of that emptiness, you will see you can go beyond it. And then there is no attempt to be anything. Then you will know what it is to be without a demand. Then it is a light to itself.
So, we waste energy through constant effort of different kinds – inwardly, of course. Most of us are indolent, lazy, and we are always trying not to be lazy. Someone disciplines himself to get up at a certain time every day, punctually, and makes tremendous effort because he is lazy in himself. But he does not inquire why he is lazy. You understand? He is concentrated on becoming, on being not lazy, and therefore he never looks at the structure, the meaning of laziness.
Why is one lazy? Probably, you are not eating rightly, you have worked too much, walked too much, talked too much, done so many things. And, naturally, the body, when it gets up in the morning, is lazy. Because you have not spent an intelligent day, the body is tired the next day. And, it's no good disciplining the body. Whereas, if you are attentive at the moment of your talking, when you are in your office – if you are completely attentive even for five minutes – that is enough. When you are eating, be attentive and do not eat fast, nor stuff yourself with all kinds of food. Then you will see that your body becomes, of itself, intelligent. You don't have to force it to be intelligent; it becomes intelligent, and that intelligence will tell it to get up or not to get up. So, you begin to discover that one can live a life of going to the office and all the rest of it without this constant battle, because one has not wasted energy but is using it totally all the time – and that is meditation. You understand?
Meditation is not what is done all the world over: repetition of words, sitting in a certain posture, breathing in a certain way, repeating some sloka or mantra over and over again. Naturally, that makes the mind stupid, dull; and, out of that stupidity, dullness, the mind becomes silent and you think you have got silence. That kind of meditation is merely selfhypnosis – it is not meditation at all – it is the most destructive way of meditating. But, there is meditation which demands that you attend – attend to what you are saying to your wife, to your husband, to your children, how you talk to your servants if you have any, how you talk to your boss – be attentive at that moment. Do not concentrate, because concentration is something which is very ugly. Every schoolboy can do it because he is forced to do it. And you think that by forcing yourself to concentrate, you will get some peace – you won't. You will not have what you call peace of mind – you will have a piece of mind, which is not peace of mind. Concentration is an exclusion. When you want to concentrate on something, you are excluding, you are resisting, you are putting away things which you don't want. Whereas, if you are attentive, then you can look at every thought, every movement; then there is no such thing as distraction, and then you can meditate. Then such meditation is a marvelous thing because it brings clarity. Meditation is clarity. Meditation then is silence, and that very silence is the disciplining process of life, not your disciplining yourself in order to achieve silence. But, when you are attentive to every word, to every gesture, to all the things you are saying, feeling, to your motives, not correcting them, then out of that comes silence, and from that silence there is discipline. Then, in that, there is no effort; there is a movement which is not of time at all. And such a human being is a joyous person; he does not create enmity, he does not bring unhappiness.
There are some questions which have been handed to me. Perhaps you would ask first, before I answer these questions.
Questioner: Who should rule, the philosopher or the politician?
Krishnamurti: I hope neither. Don't laugh – you don't see the implication when you laugh so quickly. Why should anybody rule the world? The politician and the philosopher have made such a howling mess. Why should they rule you? Why don't you rule yourself? Why do you want somebody else to rule you? For God's sake, what are we, monkeys? Why should anybody tell us what to do? You know what is going to happen: the computers are going to take over, not the philosophers, not the politicians. Their day will soon be over, I hope. The computers, which are completely impersonal, will tell you what to do. You know, I was told that during the Korean war, the computers decided whether to attack China or not, not the generals, but the computers decided. They knew the strength of both and said, « Don't do it. » The computers cannot be made corrupt, but the politician and philosopher can be, and are.
So, what is important is not whether the world is governed by them but whether you can govern yourself. Then you don't want governments. But please do this: govern yourself. And that is one of the most difficult things because to govern yourself you have to know yourself, not invent that you are atma, this or that. You have to learn about yourself, you have to look at yourself as you would look at your face in a mirror, without distortion. You have to look at yourself: the way you talk, the way you walk, the way you say, the way you think – everything. Then, out of that attention, out of that looking, you will know how to act. And then you will know how to govern yourself and therefore govern. Then man needs no government at all. You know, one of the communist theories was to end all government; but there is not going to be an end of government because the communists want a certain pattern repeated, a certain ideology, and the moment the high hold the power, they are not going to let go. So a wise man, a man who is really humble, who has great affection and love, does not want anybody to guide him or rule him.
Questioner: Sir, I have two questions: Is it possible to communicate joy, and is it possible to have that joy?
Krishnamurti: « Is it possible to communicate joy, and is it possible to have it? Is it possible to have joy and to communicate it to others? »
First of all, to understand what joy is, you must understand what pleasure is. That is what I have been talking about a little earlier. When there is joy, why do you want to communicate it? What for? To tell somebody that you have got it, you put it in a book, in a painting. See, sir, we are so concerned to communicate, when we have nothing to communicate. When you are full of something, you are not bothered whether you communicate or do not communicate.
Questioner: Sir, I have two questions: one is on love, and the other is on meditation. My question is, sir, would you explain what that love is about which you have been talking. That is a question on love. And the other is on meditation. Meditation, as you have defined today, is complete attention. Now, what is the thing we may reject or accept . . . ?
Krishnamurti: Sir, be brief.
Questioner: Let me finish it, sir. If the conception of your meditation is essential, why bring in words which have been used by so many other people?
Krishnamurti: Right, sir. The gentleman asks, « Would you define what love is? » And also he suggests that I should not use the word meditation because it is heavily loaded, but I shall use the word attention.
All right. But I do not think words matter very much if one knows the meaning of words. If you can brush aside the weight, the load, which that word meditation has been given, then one can use that word meditation as well as attention. And we are not defining. A dictionary will give you a very good definition of what meditation is, what attention is, what love is. Is that what we are talking about? To define, to have a formula about what love is? Then with that formula you will go, compare it with what Shankara, Buddha, X-Y-Z said and, at the end of it, will you know what love is, and will you then love? Dialectically, or through explanation, will you know what love is? Sir, how do you come by love? Not according to any concept. We have been saying right through this talk, « no concept. » Concepts are merely the result of thought, put together as concepts, formulas. A man who lives by formulas is a dead human being. And that is what is happening in this country. You have dozens of formulas, according to Shankara, Buddha, and God knows what else, and where are you? So, we are not talking of concepts.
We said love is not pleasure, love is not desire, love is not jealousy, love is not possession or domination. If you can eliminate these, then you will find out. When you eliminate these – and eliminate them rightly, not force them – then you will find out for yourself what kindliness is, what courtesy is, what gentleness is. Then perhaps you will come upon this strange flower which man always hungers after.
Questioner: Sir, the problem of relationship you were discussing the other day: When you are face to face with two persons with two different ideas, which both of them hold to be right, and when you have to put up with them, is there not the problem of your relationship with them?
Krishnamurti: If you have to put up with a person who thinks he is right, the questioner asks what relationship have you with that person? A person who insists he is right obviously is a neurotic person. And what relationship have you with an unbalanced person who says, « I am right about everything »?
Sir, first you make a problem. You don't examine the question of those people who say, « I am right. » You know, sir, truth is something entirely different from being right. Truth is something which is not personal, which has nothing to do with any religion, with any group, with any individual; it is not to be found in any church, in any organized religion. And right and wrong are things of thought. And, without understanding the whole machinery of thought, there is no meaning in merely submitting to another who thinks he is right – like these gentlemen who are going to burn themselves about nothing; they consider themselves tremendously right, and they are going to create havoc, mischief, which has nothing to do with truth. To find that strange thing, one must be free. And to be free means to be without fear, to investigate, to look, to observe. Right, sir?
Questioner: Is not some effort necessary in order to be attentive?
Krishnamurti: « Must not one make conscious effort to be attentive? Is not some kind of effort necessary in being attentive to what one does? »
First of all, most of us are trained, educated, to do something which we don't like at all. Right? Most of us are going to the office for the next forty years, and don't like it. It is a horrible business, endlessly getting up every morning and trotting to the office; it is a rat race, and you are forced to do it. So, what does one do? Look at it. I hear somebody saying, « Don't make effort; it has no meaning. » And he explains the nature of it. I think I have grasped the meaning of it. And here I am next morning; I have to do something which I don't like. What am I to do? I either put up with it and do the very best possible or I walk out. I cannot walk out because I am married, I have children, I have responsibilities; so I am stuck there. Being stuck there, what happens? I am old, there is self-pity, I compare myself with somebody who has a better job, I am all the time grumbling about it. Don't I have a bad leg! No doctor can cure it – there it is. Or, I say I put up with it. I don't everlastingly complain, complain. Now, the way I put up with it demands attention: whether I put up with it because I understand the whole meaning of it, and therefore it is no longer a problem. But, if I resent it, if I am incapable of dealing with it, or if I want to deal with it in a certain way because I want this and that, then I multiply the problem through self-pity, through comparison, through various forms of ambition. Whereas, if I am aware of all that, then I put up with it and go beyond it.
Questioner: Sir, I wanted one simple question to put to your good self. The question is:
What place has altruism in defining human life?
Krishnamurti: « What place has altruism in life? » You mean by altruism unselfishness?
Krishnamurti: Unselfishness, doing social work, is that it, sir? What place has unselfishness in life, is that it?
Questioner: Yes, sir.
Krishnamurti: What do you think? Why do you ask me? When it becomes an ideal that I must be unselfish in order to save somebody, then it is no longer unselfishness. When you give up – rather, when you do social work – it is an escape from yourself, do you understand? Because you are miserable, because you are frustrated – of which you may not be conscious – you go and do social work, you help a vast number of people; then, that leads to mischief because reformation needs always further reformation. A total revolution never needs reformation. It is only these petty little saints with their petty, little issues and resolutions and plans – they are the real mischief-makers. Whereas, when there is a total understanding of the whole process of life, out of that comes a mutation; and that is beyond those words of altruism and social work and all the rest of it.
Questioner: The employers and employees are in conflict everywhere, whether in government or public and private undertakings. They are undergoing a great deal of conflict.
Krishnamurti: The difference between the employer and the employed – the divergence, the division between them – is growing greater and greater, the relations between these two, of course.
Questioner: And they are in conflict. Can there be an understanding between these two?
Krishnamurti: Sir, you know that national-ism – it is not my job talking about all this – sometimes succeeds, sometimes doesn't. It has been shown right through the world. And they have experimented in Russia, in China, and in different parts of the totalitarian states where there is dictatorship, where there are no strikes, where the state is the employer; and it is said that the difference between the state, which is the managerial party – the top dogs, the high people – and the low people is equally marked, and there is constant battle between the two. The capitalists have done this too. Only there the worker can buy shares in the company; he can join the company.
So, what is involved in this, sir? There is work that has to be done. Labor is going to be done more and more by automation. Great factories can be run, and probably will be run, by half a dozen people. And that is going to come, and labor will have little to do; you and I will be lazy, you and I will have leisure. And then the problem is relationship between man and man in leisure, not in function. Relationship becomes a conflict when there is status and no function. This is simple, sir. When the employer seeks status and so on, everything in life becomes a conflict. So, the problem is not that we cannot deal with problems in the immediate, but we must take the problem – as we pointed out earlier in the talks – in the total process of time. Man is going to have a great deal of leisure, and what is he going to do? That is the real issue which you have got to face when you are dealing with the employer and the employed. So, leisure is going to be exploited by the entertainer, whether the entertainer is television, the radio, football, or the priest, or the sectarian leader, or the political party, and so on. So, leisure becomes a very important issue: Are you going to be completely entertained, to be entertained always, or are you going to enter into a different world where you become true human beings, not kept entertained by circus and parade? You understand? Then we shall have right relationship with the employer and the employee or the employed. Until then there will always be conflict.
That is enough, sir. There is a question. Do you want me to answer this question? – because it is nearly seven o'clock.
The questioner says he is shy to ask this question and therefore he has written it, and the question is: « I am very sexually inclined. Education, culture, music, literature have just slightly modified it, but basically it is deep-rooted. I suffer a lot from this; what am I to do? » You have understood the question?
The questioner says music, art, literature, and so on have slightly modified the central issue, which is the drive, the urge, the demand for sex. You know, it is one of the most complicated problems, like every human problem that is bedeviling the world. You understand? Right through the world there is this problem. Why? It is as though for the first time human beings have discovered sex, as though it were a very strange thing, and they want to have complete enjoyment and make a tremendous issue of it. Why? Now let us examine it. I am not telling you what to do. That would be so utterly immature, childish, and would reduce you to be immature and childish. So, we are going to examine it. To examine, you must be free to look. You understand? You cannot have prejudices: Oh, sex is sin, sex must be controlled, this and that. To look, you must be free from your prejudice and opinion, not only with regard to this, but with regard to every issue in life – with regard to your politician, with regard to the scientist, with regard to your newspaper, with regard to your sacred books – everything. To observe, to learn, there must be freedom.
Now, why has it become a problem? Are you listening to this, sirs? Are you waiting for me to tell you? Why has it become a problem to you? Look, first of all, intellectually you function within a pattern. Intellectually, you have drawn a line, a boundary, and within that you function; and within that boundary, the space is very small. Right? You dare not question your leaders, political or religious; intellectually you don't doubt, you don't say, « What do you mean by this? » but you have accepted them as authorities, and you function intellectually in that little frame. Therefore, what has happened? You have blocked yourself off, haven't you? Intellectually, you have cut yourself off, you have cut away, you dare not think in freedom – not that there is any freethinking: there is no such thing – but intellectually you are crippled. Look at what is happening through the world. Here in this country, art, music, and literature are at a very low ebb because you have accepted tradition and you repeat, repeat. So, intellectually you have made yourself small, narrow. So, you have no release through the intellect. By release, I don't mean right release through fulfillment, but I mean to think clearly – not to be afraid to say what you want to say even though society may threaten you, may put you in prison, or burn you – to stand by what you think. And that you don't do.
Have you noticed, sir, those people, those holy men, Shankaracharya and those gentlemen in the Punjab, who are burning themselves over some trivial matter? But then, not one of the people in this country burned himself when there was a war between Pakistan and you, though you professed pacifism, though you professed nonviolence; you never stood up and burned yourself, or even fasted.
Intellectually you are dead. This is a fact. You may function a little bit after learning a new technology, become a marvelous administrator, a marvelous engineer; but that is not being active, it is merely repetition. So, intellectually, you have cut the flow of the mind. Then, emotionally, what is happening? To be sensitive, to be alive to trees, to poverty, to dirt, to squalor – you don't even notice all that. You are not sensitive to beauty: to look at the stars, to feel a leaf, to look at poverty, to see a poor child with a fat tummy. You don't look, you don't feel, you don't cry, you have become callous. And this is right through the world, not only here. And, when you do feel, you become sentimental, you become devotional to some idiotic picture or a statue, you rush to a temple when you have got a headache, give away your jewels. So, emotionally too, you are starved, empty. Physically, look at yourselves: what you have made of yourselves by overeating, overindulging, not having enough exercise, and all the rest of it; physically, one has become flabby.
So, when you shut off the movement of the mind, when you throttle down, destroy, become callous inwardly, when emotionally you have no feeling, no consideration, no kindliness – you talk about it, but you never stand for it; you never treat your servants or your children with consideration, with kindness – what happens? You have only one thing left, which is sex, and nothing else; and that you have indulged in, though all your saints have said, « Don't, don't, don't look at a woman: she is your sister, she is your mother, and so on. » You go on playing with sex, and it becomes a terrific problem. All around, you have become insensitive. Please see this for yourself. Then you will do something, then sex will be no longer a problem. And also, at that moment, probably you would have noticed that there is the total absence of yourself, and you want the repetition of that state of mind when there is no worry, no problem, when you are totally unaware of yourself – that is what sex gives you for the time being, and then you are back again with your turmoil.
So, when you shut off all the movement of life, all affection, all kindliness, consideration, looking at nature – looking at trees, flowers, thinking clearly – when you have none of these things, you have only one thing left, like a peasant in a village. What has he? He has no beauty, he has nothing but work and the everlasting sun burning his body and his soul away. What has he left? He has got one thing left, sex, and therefore he has dozens of children. That is his only pleasure, and that too you deny him through your sacred books and the examples of these shallow, empty sannyasis who have run away from life.
Sir, to renounce the world is to understand the world, not to run away from it. To understand it, you must look, you must see very clearly. And, when you see clearly, you love. You have no love in your heart at all, though you may talk about it. When there is no love in your heart, you have only one thing left, which is pleasure; and that pleasure is sex, and therefore it becomes a mountainous problem. To resolve it, you have to understand it. When you understand it, you begin to face the mind – don't be afraid, you are human beings, not driven cattle. Then, out of that freedom, comes a beauty in everything, and nothing becomes a problem.
Fourth Public Talk in New Delhi
Sunday, December 25, 1966
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