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75 - Chapter 5 - Bombay, 1st Public Talk - 25th January 1975
75 - Chapter 5 - Bombay, 1st Public Talk - 25th January 1975
As there are only two talks - today and tomorrow - one has to be concise in what one has to say. I wonder if you are aware of what is happening to this country. This country is very beautiful; there are valleys, hills, snows, rivers, deserts and a great many varieties of trees and birds, and lovely earth, but you are not responsible for that. You are responsible for the deterioration that is going on in this country - morally, ethically, aesthetically. There is a great deal of corruption, degeneration, there is decay inwardly, spiritually. When one observes all this, as the speaker has done for the last fifty years, one wonders what is the reason for this moral decay, what is the fundamental cause of this degeneration. You might not like that word, you may think that India technologically is advancing and therefore you might consider that alone as progress, that the technological world is safe, is worthwhile, but when you consider religion, politics, economics and the human relationship between man and man, you are bound to find, observe, be aware that there is great decay and to find out the essence of this decay, one must consider what has happened today to the brain, to the whole structure of the human mind. We are not comparing India to Europe or America or Russia. We are taking the country as it is. Technologically, industrially, I suppose India is progressing, but mentally, intellectually, spiritually there is no flowering. You have many gurus, you have many temples, Gods, the vast superstitious structure called religion in India and that is not religion at all. Going to a temple or meditating according to a system which is no meditation at all; when one observes all this, one asks what is the cause, why is there this degeneration of the mind and heart. The word "degeneration" means inferior excellence. Because you give your concern, your heart to this matter to find out if this decay can be stemmed, then let us this evening share together this grave concern.
As we said, the mind with its brain, with its feeling, with the whole structure of human endeavour is based on thought. Thought has built this society which is utterly immoral, this social order which is a series of inter-battle between human beings; the thought which has put together religion. Thought is responsible for technological growth and industrialization of society, but thought is also responsible for all the wars, for the divisions of man against man, for the racial, national divisions; thought is responsible for all the Gods that you have; thought has put them together. I don't think you can dispute that. Thought is responsible for the social disorder, for the social immorality, for the wars, for the Gods, for all the mischief that is going on in this country, the corruption, the thoughtless lack of concern. Thought is also responsible for the extraordinary things it has done, the electricity, the medical care and so on. And we have relied on thought to solve our problems. One of the fundamental reasons for this decay, degeneracy, in this country is the cultivation of memory through which we hope to have security. Without understanding the process of thought, there can be no regeneration of human beings in this country. That is the premise. And thought is not going to solve your problems. Thought will not bring about a transformation in your consciousness. Your consciousness is put together by thought. The content of your consciousness is the product, is the result of your thought. The content, the Upanishads, Gita, the daily quarrels, the sex, all the authoritarian acceptance of your particular religious beliefs, doctrines, superstitions, all that is the content of your consciousness and unless there is a transformation in that content, this country will go down, degenerate more and more.
So the question is can the content of your consciousness be transformed because your consciousness is the collective consciousness. Please be aware of your own consciousness, of your own state, be aware of your conditioning, of the way you think, the way you look at life and so on. The content is put together by thought and the content makes up consciousness. The consciousness is its content. Have you understood this? Without the content of your consciousness, there is no consciousness; your attainments, your beliefs, your hopes, your fears, your racial and national pride and prejudice, all that is the content of your consciousness and the content makes up consciousness. Now, how is this content to be transformed? That is the central issue with which we are confronted. How is your mind, your consciousness with all its travail, with all its suffering, with all its anxieties, its pains, its fears, ambitions, etc., to be transformed? That is the problem. So first of all, memory is one of the factors of degeneration. Memory is mechanical. Memory is experience, knowledge as it is stored up in the brain and when you function within the area of knowledge which is the past, such a mind can never be free. And your concern is to bring about freedom; freedom from all your gurus, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and so on. So knowledge as memory though very important, becomes a hindrance, a destructive factor which prevents further enquiry into human resources, the human mind. Thought is a material process because thought is response of memory; memory is experience; experience and knowledge are stored up in the brain cells and thought is the response which is borne out of knowledge and that knowledge becomes a hindrance to the discovery of something that is not the product of thought.
So, if you observe the western world as well as the eastern world, all their culture is based on thought. Thought is measure and thought is time. Without measure, there is no technology. Sirs, you need measure to put anything together accurately. And measure is the basis of all technology. Thought is measure because without thought you cannot possibly create a technological world which is based on measurement. Where there is measurement, there must be time to achieve. If I want to learn a language, I need time, if I want to learn how to drive a car, I need time. I need time to acquire any technological skill. And that very thought based on memory as the cultivation of memory is what is destroying this country. To enquire into something that is not measurable which is religion, which is the immeasurable, and that is the very essence of religion, thought is not the instrument of investigation. We have exercised thought as a means of uncovering something which thought can never touch and religion is the only factor that can bring about regeneration of man. Religion is the only factor of a new culture. What do you mean by religion? Please listen to it: not all the superstitions, not all the beliefs, the dogmas, the churches, the mosques, the temples, none of them is religion; that is vast propaganda which has conditioned the human mind. Religion implies gathering together all your energy to understand something beyond the limitations of thought; gathering together all your energy to find out what is true; to find out for yourself, not according to somebody else, what it means to have enlightenment, what it means to have a quality of mind that is not caught in time. Your own consciousness must be transformed. So, from that arises then the question what place has thought in the transformation of man. That is, what place has knowledge in the transformation of man and society because society is the product of man's relationship with another, Without transforming, himself and society, merely talking about religion, worship and all that, are great verbal gestures which have no meaning.
So we are concerned to find out the right place of thought and whether thought can hold itself without any form of control. Look Sirs, you know absolutely nothing beyond the operation of thought. You actually don't know if there is something unknown, if there is God. You believe in God, you are told that there is God, you are frightened and you are ready to worship out of your fear. but you actually don't know. And you have to find out, which means you have to find out where thought is necessary, important, vital and where thought is not. As we were saying, one of the factors of degeneration of this country is the cultivation of memory and relying on that memory to bring about salvation to man. Through education, through school, college, university you have cultivated memory to give you security. You have sought security and you must have security - physical security. And you hope to gain that security through the cultivation of knowledge and you have now come to a point when that very security is being denied. Aren't you aware of this factor? Now, there are certain things which we have to go into. First of all, human beings right throughout the world suffer not only physically, but psychologically, inwardly and haven't been able to solve that problem. Suffering may be accepted and a mind that suffers is a clouded mind, a mind that is incapable of looking at the world as a whole. So our concern is: Is it possible for the mind not to suffer at all? Would you say Yes or No? And there is the question of fear, suffering and love. When the mind is caught in fear there can be obviously no love. You may talk about love, you may go and worship the guru and be devoted to him and all that nonsense. but there is always fear. Can the mind be free of fear? If it cannot, that is one of the factors of degeneration.
Now, what is the cause of fear, the root cause of fear? There are many fears, - fear of death, fear of loneliness, fear of losing a job, fear of not being loved, dozens of fears, - but what is the root of fear? Have you ever gone into it? not escape from it, not go away or find excuses or rationalize fear, but find out the basic cause of fear, because unless your mind is free of fear, there is no love and there will always be suffering. So it is a very important question to find this out because this is part of the content of your consciousness. This deep fear, human beings seem to be incapable of putting away. We are asking what is the root cause of fear. Is it security, psychological desire to be secure in your relationship with another and is there permanent security in relationship? We have to find out the root of it. One can describe, but the description is not the described. I can describe the various forms of fear, but the description, the verbal statement does not show you the fear for yourself. Can you be aware, as you are sitting there, which is your fear and what is the cause of it, how does it happen that you are afraid? Is not thought the very essence of fear? One was happy yesterday and perhaps tomorrow one might not be happy. The tomorrow is the projection of thought, frightened that it might not have that happiness which it had yesterday. Thought is afraid of death. That is, when you say "I am afraid of death", you mean while you are living, that which you call death must be postponed, put away further. Thought is afraid of that death. Thought is afraid of losing your job. Thought awakens in you the fear that you might not achieve something, whatever you want. Thought is responsible basically and fundamentally for fear.
Then the problem arises how can thought be controlled because thought is so active. It foresees what might happen. So thought is always much more active than the actual present. The question then is can thought be controlled? Then arises the question who is the controller. And not being able to answer that question who is the controller, you have introduced an outside agency as the Higher Self. Who is the controller? Is the controller different from the controlled? When you say if I could control my thought and therefore finish with fear, then who is it that is controlling thought? Is it not another fragment of thought? Thought is playing a trick upon itself and therefore there is no ending of fear. Therefore one has to observe that the controller is the controlled. You understand Sir? I see the necessity of thought being controlled. That is what you have all been educated upon, your whole meditation is based on that: Controlling your thought. Now when you go into it, you will see that thought is fragmentary and one fragment tries to control other fragments or tries to integrate other fragments but it is still the operation of thought. Do you see that? If you do, then you will see that the observer, the controller, the thinker is the thought, is the controlled, is the observed; there is no difference; there is no division. Where there is division, there must be conflict, like the Arabs and the Jews, the Muslims and the Hindus and all the rest of the division. When there is no division between the thinker and the thought, then there is no conflict and where there is no conflict, there is a transformation in consciousness. That is one point.
Then what is love? Is love the movement of thought? Is love the movement of pleasure? Is love the movement of desire? Because in this country you have been conditioned by all your saints, by your scriptures, by your gurus that love is something that might lead to sexual appetite. Therefore, you are told "don't desire; control your desire". You have been conditioned and if you observe your life closely, have you love? Do you love anybody? Love implies care. Love implies attention, love implies compassion and if there is fear, there is no compassion. If you are ambitious, there is no compassion. If you are pursuing pleasure at any price, there is no compassion, no love. So, to awaken the flower of compassion, the beauty of it, can you live a life in which thought has not created the image in relationship?
Sir, we have this problem in this country that love has gone from us. You have no love, you have devotion, devotion to your guru, to your God, to your scripture or to the image you have created which is the image of yourself really. You are devoted to all that, but that is not love because in the devotion there is fear. You are all seeking a reward. Don't you know all this? So, how do you come upon this flower of affection, care, love and compassion? How does it happen to you? How can you come upon it? Can you put aside your ambition, your tremendous self-concern, this desire to be successful? If you cannot, then this country of which you are, is going to degenerate more and more. So for this evening, there are certain factors that you have to see. That a new culture has to come about in this country and that culture cannot come without religion. Religion is not what is going on in this country. There is no religion in this country though there are all kinds of people who are doing miracles, grow long hair, you know all that childishness that is going on in this country, but that does not indicate a religious spirit at all. They are merely conforming to a religious pattern set by various people throughout the ages and this conformity to a pattern is not religion. Religion implies gathering all your energy so that you care, so that you have compassion, love. That is one factor and that is not possible if there is any kind of fear. Fear is the product of thought. Thought is fear, it is within the area of the known, within the area of knowledge and as long as you are operating with thought in that area, you are not only strengthening fear, but you are trying to escape from it and through escape your mind degenerates. It is only when you are capable of looking at fear, then, when you observe fear, is that fear different from the observer? Obviously not. Therefore when the observer is fear and therefore no conflict and when the observer is that fear, there is the gathering of all energy to go beyond it. Do it and you will find out.
Then there is the problem of suffering. You know sirs, we have accepted suffering as we accept almost everything. What is sorrow? Is sorrow loneliness, is sorrow the failure and the vulgarity of attachment? Is sorrow something that thought can resolve? I am asking you all these questions for you to consider, find out, exercise your brain to find out. What is sorrow? You lose somebody whom you think you love and there is suffering. You lose your eye sight and there is suffering, you lose your job and there is suffering. You lose something of yourself, you feel lonely and in that loneliness there is suffering. So human beings know what is suffering. Only they have not been able to go beyond it. Why? You suffer, there is no question about it. And when you suffer, what do you do? I am not talking about physiological suffering. I am talking about psychological suffering, the inward suffering. What do you do? Don't you run away from it? Don't you try to find the cause of that suffering which is another form of escape? Or perhaps you say "it is my karma" which is another silly way of avoiding suffering. So, when you are confronted with this suffering, what do you do, actually do? escape from it, not run away from it, not rationalize it, not try to find a cause because that is a waste of time. You can very easily find out the cause of suffering. If you escape, if you rationalize, if you try to find the cause of it, those are all movements of thought. So, can the mind look at that suffering, not as though it was separate from it? The observer is the sorrow. To remain with that, not to move away from that reality that you are sorrow, to remain with that fact, then you will see that all the energy that you have dissipated in rationalization, in escape, in trying to find the cause and so on, all that energy now the mind has and therefore it goes beyond the factor of suffering. And another factor, another thing with sorrow, is that sorrow doesn't bring about the flower of goodness. Goodness is not the product of thought. You are good or you are not. And to cultivate goodness is like cultivating humility. So as long as we are operating in the field of knowledge and rely on knowledge to bring about the transformation of man, that is one of the factors of deterioration of man.