Krishnamurti: Q&A Meeting 1
Transcript of Q&A Meeting 1, Brockwood Park, 30 August 1983
We have to go into these questions. First of all if one may ask most respectfully, from whom do you expect the answers? It is good to question, not only the speaker or to question your friends, your wives and your husbands, question, to doubt, to enquire, to be sceptical. And when one puts a question, which is a challenge, to whom or from whom do you expect that challenge to be answered? Is it a challenge to oneself? Or are you challenging the speaker? There is a great deal of difference: when you are putting the question to yourself, to oneself, then you are really probing into it, putting your teeth into it. And if one is earnest and really deeply concerned then the answers can only be found in the question. The answer is not, if one may point out, separate from the question, it is not somewhere the answer is, and the question is somewhere else. So we are saying that in the very questioning is the answer. I hope we understand that.
So we are together going to enquire into these questions. And in enquiring together we will find the answer. It is not that the speaker is going to answer, like a politician, he has got all kinds of answers, but here we are together enquiring into these questions. The question is far more important, is it not, than the answer. Why do I put a question to myself, or to the world, or to my friend? If I put a question rather superficially the answer will inevitably be superficial because my question is really not very important, to myself or to the world. But if I put a question and try to find the nature, what lies behind the question, then I am opening the question. It is like digging in a well, the more you dig, the more water. So we are together, if I may point out again, we are going together to go into these questions. Is that all right?
1st QUESTION: How do you know what you are saying is true?
Why do you ask me that question? Isn’t it true that as long as there is national division, economic division, racial division, religious division, there must be conflict. That is a fact. Right? Would you accept that? So it is not what I say to be true, but the fact itself. Facts themselves show what the truth is. As we talked the other day about relationship: as long as there is this separation between two human beings, psychologically, there must be conflict. That is a fact. It is not what I say – how do I know what I say is true – but it is a fact that as long as I am ambitious and pursuing my particular form of pleasure, particular fulfilment, and my wife or husband, or girl friend does the same, we must inevitably end up in conflict. That is a fact. So it is not, how do I know what truth is. First of all let us look at facts.
We are greatly prejudiced people. We have a great many prejudices. We have cultivated them, we have strengthened them by public opinion and so on, that our prejudices prevent understanding other people. Right? That is a fact. So can one be free of prejudices, free of certain opinions which become so very strong in our lives. And the question then arises: how is it possible for human beings to be free of prejudices? That we can discuss. That we can have a conversation, a dialogue and say, look I have prejudices, suppose I have them, and you have them, and so these prejudices, whether they are idealistic prejudices, capitalist prejudices, totalitarian prejudices, religious prejudices, they divide people. Right? This is a simple fact. And where there is division there must be conflict – the Arab and the Jew, the Islamic world and the rest of the world, those who are terribly bigoted and those who are not, must be in conflict. It is a fact. I have nothing to do with it. It isn’t how do I know what I am saying is true, we are just facing facts.
Now what is a fact? What do you think is a fact? That which has happened before, an incident, a car accident, that is a fact. Or what is happening now, sitting here, is a fact. But what will happen in the future may not be a fact. So fact implies that which has happened before: yesterday, walking along the lane, I met a viper, I saw it, it didn’t bite me. That is a fact. And what is happening now, what I am thinking, what I am doing now, is a fact. And what I will do may not be a fact. It might happen, or might not happen. So if we are clear on what is a fact, and then what is an idea? You understand? Is an idea a fact? And the word ‘idea’, the Greek and so on, Latin, means to observe. The root meaning of that word ‘idea’ is to observe, to perceive, to see. What we do is see a fact and make an abstraction of it and then pursue the idea. Which means there is always the fact and a conclusion from the fact, and pursue the fact, pursue the conclusion, not the understanding of the fact. Am I making myself clear?
So please, it is not how do you know what you are saying is true, the speaker is merely pointing out facts. Those facts are not personal. If I say I am a Hindu and I stick to it, that is a fact. Whether it is an illusion, whether it is some kind of superstitious sentimental nonsense, that also is fact. You understand? Fact can be an illusion, or actual. But most of us live with illusions. I am an Indian – that is an illusion. And you are, if I may most gently point out, you are British – that is also an illusion. This tribal insular worship is destroying the world. That is a fact. As long as I am an Arab and you are something else, I am going to destroy you because I believe by destroying you I will go to heaven. Right? That is an illusion which they have accepted as a fact, and for that illusion they are willing to fight and kill, and destroy. Right? So can we always deal with facts? I am asking: can we always be with facts? Not translate the facts according to my prejudice, according to my belief, according to my neurotic illusions, however noble they are, can I look at these facts and understand what those facts are saying? Suppose I had an accident in a car. Can I look at that fact that I was rather careless, driving too fast, not paying complete attention to what I was doing because I was talking to my friend next to me – that is a fact. But I then say, ‘No, it is your fault’ – you know, ‘the other fellow is a fool!’
Now, it is a fact that we have ideals. Right? Don’t you all have ideals? No? I wish we could have a dialogue, friendly, talk to each other. Don’t you have ideals? I am afraid you do. Ideals. What are those ideals? Are they facts? The ideal that we must live peacefully. Right? The ideal that we must be – whatever it is, non-violent, or the ideals of a communist, which are drawn from historical study, but those studies are prejudiced by my conditioning. So why do we have ideals at all? I know this is a dangerous thing to say because most of us live with these extraordinary ideals. We are questioning, please I am not saying you should or should not have ideals. I am saying, why do we have ideals, faiths, beliefs, as a Christian, as a Buddhist, as a Hindu, I am an American, you are British, you know, all the rest of it – why? Is it our brain is incapable of living without any illusion? What do you say to that? Is my brain capable, strong, vital, to understand things as they are and not create a future ideal? Ideal is non-existent. Right? All Christians and all religious people believe that you must not kill. Right? And probably the Christians have killed more than anybody else. Right? And the British. And the Islamic world have killed more – not so many as the Christians. And probably the Buddhists and the Hindus come on a lower scale because they are barbarians, they are uncivilised people. And so it goes on. And we know that ideals of every kind, faith, belief, divide people. That is a fact.
So, can we be free of ideals, of faith, of being identified with one group and against another group which identifies with another group? You follow? Be free of all this. Could we? Or is that impossible? If we could have a dialogue about this then we would exchange – yes, it is possible, it is not possible, why is it not possible – you understand? Could we do that now? To have a free mind, free brain, that is not cluttered up with a lot of rubbish, a lot of illusions. Is that possible? And some of you may say, no, it is not possible because I can’t live without my beliefs. I must have my ideals, my faith, otherwise I am lost – with your faiths, with your beliefs, ideals you are already lost. That is a fact. You are very lost people. But whereas if we could have a dialogue, conversation, and say, why do I cling to my particular prejudice, particular ideal, and so on, why have I identified myself with them? Why do I identify myself with anything? You follow? Push it. Push it deeply to find out why we do all these things. Why we have allowed ourselves to be programmed. Why are we afraid of public opinion and so on and so on.
So the question: how do you know what you are saying is true? I am afraid it has very little meaning. Truth is not something that is mysterious, truth is where you are. From there we can begin. Truth is I am angry, I am jealous, I am aggressive, I quarrel. That is a fact. So one must begin, if one may most respectfully point out, where one is. That is why it is important to know oneself, to have complete knowledge of oneself, not from others, not from psychologists, brain specialists and so on, but to know what you are. Because you are the story of mankind. Do you understand all this? If you know how to read that book which is yourself, then you know all the activities and the brutalities and the stupidities of mankind because you are the rest of the world. Right? Is that question clear?
2nd QUESTION: Is desire something fundamental in human beings? Without desire could we function in this world at all?
Could we talk about this? Have a conversation: what is desire, why desire has become so important in our lives and why desire dominates and why desire changes its object from year to year. Right? You understand? Why? And all the various monks throughout the world, they are supposed to be serious people, dedicated, committed, they suppress their desires, they are tortured by their desires. Right? They may worship whatever symbol, whatever person, but desire is there burning like a fire. Right? This is a common fact. And to understand the whole nature of desire, one must go into it very, very carefully. Let’s talk about it together, shall we? Join me please.
Why have human beings yielded to desire, to do everything that they wanted to do, on one side; and there are other human beings who say you must suppress desire? You understand this? The monks, the sanyasis of India, and the Buddhist monks, all say you must control your desire, or transform your desire to god. Do you understand all this? Turn your desire to the worship of your saviour, turn this desire that is so strong, take vows against it – vows of celibacy, vows of silence, vows of one meal a day. You understand? Have you ever been in a monastery? No? I was in one for some time for fun. And I watched, I listened, slept there, did the things they did. It was really a cruel affair. Take a vow of silence and never speak again – you understand what it means? Never look at a woman. Do you understand all this? Never look at the sky, the beauty of trees, the solitary tree in a field, never communicate what you are feeling to another. Do you understand all this? In the name of service, in the name of god, human beings have tortured themselves to find illumination, to find enlightenment, to find something or other, heaven. And that is a tremendously torturing affair. And desire is at the root of all this. Right? I wonder if you understand all this.
Human beings in India, in the West, and the Far East, they have done everything to suppress this flame. I once met a man, an Indian, highly educated, he had been to the West, talked excellent English, very learned, and yet he had taken a vow never to enter into a married couple’s house. Please, you may laugh at it. Because he said sex is an abomination; and when he said it is an abomination you could feel the tortures he had been through. You understand all this? Does it mean anything to you, all this?
So to go into this question: what is desire? Why are there these two elements in life, the suppression, the control, and the other side to do what you want. There are the gurus who say do what you want, god will bless you, and of course they are very, very popular. And thousands go, offer everything they have – you know all that is happening in the world. So we must go into this question: what is desire and whether it is the fundamental urge of life, of living. Is this clear, up to now?
So let’s go into it. What is desire? You understand? We expanded desire, what is taking place in the world, night clubs, sex, free sex, do what you want to do, gurus help you to do what you want to do, it releases all your inhibitions. Counter groups – you know. God, this world is mad all right! But they never ask the question apparently, I may be mistaken: what is the nature of desire? What is that entity that controls desire? You understand? The urge to have something, to possess something, and the entity that says, ‘Don’t’. Right? There is this battle going on: one desire opposing another desire. Right? Are we together in this? We are having a conversation, I am not making a sermon. We are having a dialogue together. Which is: why is there in human beings this dual process going on, opposite processes, wanting and not wanting, suppressing and letting go? You understand my question? Why is there this contradiction in us? Does the contradiction exist because we are not facing facts? Facts have no contradiction, it is a fact. I wonder if you understand? I am angry. That is a fact. I am violent. I am jealous, greedy. That is a fact. But when I say, ‘I am violent’, there is immediately an idea I must not be violent. Right? And I must not be violent becomes the ideal, which is non-violence. So there is a battle between violence, which I am, and trying to be non-violent. Why have we done this? The non-violence is non-fact. I know it is a fashion brought about through Tolstoy in India and so on, that we must all be non-violent. Whereas we are actually violent human beings. Would you admit that? Therefore why do we have its opposite? You understand? Is that an escape from fact? And if it is an escape from fact why do we escape? Is it because we do not know how to deal with the fact? I escape from something because I don’t knew what to do about it, but if I know what to do I can deal with it.
So let’s find out – oh, that takes too long! I will go into it. Let’s find out how to deal with the fact only, not with its opposite. I am violent. And I have no opposite. Because that is non-fact, that has no validity at all. What has validity, what is truth, what is a fact, is I am violent. Right? And what does violence mean? Not only to do harm to another, throw a bomb and all the rest of things that are going on in the world, it also means comparison. Right? When I compare myself with you, who are clever, bright, noble and all the rest of it, then what takes place when I am comparing with you? Through comparison I make myself dull. Right? I wonder if you follow all this? Is this too much? Why do we compare? Of course you have to compare, if you have the money, between two cars, or between dresses and so on, that is inevitable. But why do I psychologically compare myself with anybody? Is it because I do not know how to deal with myself? You understand? When you say to a boy, you must be like your elder brother, as most parents do, what happens to that boy, who is B? When you are comparing B with A, what happens to B? Have you ever thought about it? I have two sons, A and B – or two girls, whatever it is. I am comparing A, the youngest boy to the older, and say, ‘You must be like him.’ What does that do to A? You understand? When I say you must be like B, what happens to A? Then he is imitating, conforming. You have set a pattern and this comparison is a form of violence. Right? I wonder if you see that. No? So imitation is violence. You have to go into this, all the subtleties of it.
So when you look at violence it opens itself more and more, what the content of that word is, and it reveals most extraordinary things. But if you are pursuing non-violence, which is illusory, which is non-factual, it has no meaning. I wonder if you see this?
So, let’s come back. Which really means: how do you observe violence? Is the observer different from the thing called violence? You understand? I am violent. That word indicates the reaction, and I have used that word because I have repeated it so often – to identify that particular reaction. Are you following? And by using that word constantly I am strengthening that feeling. So can I be free of the word and look? Do you understand all this? No, you don’t. So let’s come back. What is desire? How does it happen? And can that be understood, lived with, so that there is no suppression, no condemnation, or indulging in it? Right? To look at it, to understand it, so that when you understand something very clearly then it becomes simple. If I know how to dismantle a car, which I have done, not the modern cars, they are too complicated, then it is fairly simple to deal with any misbehaving, or something faulty. So it never frightens one. So let’s look at this very carefully. What is desire? What is the root and the beginning of desire? Right, sirs? Can we have a dialogue on it? What time is it? I’ve got so many questions. We’ll go on with it.
We are asking what is the root of desire and can we observe that root and remain with that root? You understand? Not say it is right, or wrong, it is good to have desire, or what will human beings do without desire, and all that kind of question.
Q: I have an answer to your question. I think separation from the mother is the root of desire.
K: From the mother? The baby gets desire from the mother?
Q: No, it gets desire from the separation.
K: Desire from separation from the mother? Is that so? Is that true, a fact? We don’t know. Don’t go back to babies and children and mothers, and all that. That is a different question. We will deal with it when it arises.
We are asking: what is the root of desire? You see something beautiful, a nice picture, a beautiful piece of furniture, jewellery. You see it in the window. What takes place? Let’s go slowly. You see the particular jewel in the window. There is a reaction to that. Right? You go inside the shop and you ask the man to show you that particular jewel. You touch it. Then you have a certain sensation. Right? That is, seeing, going inside and contact with your fingers, then sensation. Right? Seeing, contact, sensation. Then – please go slowly, you will see it for yourself – then thought imagines how lovely you would look with that jewel, on your hand, or round your neck, or in your ears. Right? So at that moment desire is born. Am I making myself clear? That is, it is natural to have this sensation – seeing that jewel in the window, going into the shop, handling it, sensation, a feeling. Then thought comes along, it is all done in a flash of a second, but thought comes along and says, ‘How lovely that would be on my finger. How lovely it would be if I owned that marvellous piece of jewellery.’ At that moment desire is born. Right? I wonder if you understand? If we could approach desire slowly, step by step, then we see how desire is born – seeing, contact, sensation. Then thought sees that car. See the car, touch it, go round it, feel it, open it up and the, sensation. Then thought says, ‘I’d like to get that car, sit in it, drive it.’ You understand? All this takes place instantly, now we are separating it step by step.
So if you are aware of this whole process – seeing, contact, sensation, thought imagining you in the car and driving it off. You understand that? That moment is the birth of desire, when thought interferes with sensation. Got it? Is this a fact? Not what you say, is it true, is this a fact? This is a fact. You see a blouse, or a skirt, or a nice shirt in the window and you know, you go through the whole process in a flash of a second. But when you slow it down, like in a film, step by step, you see the whole movement of it – seeing, contact, sensation, thought with its image, then desire is born. Right? Are we clear on this? Not I am saying this, don’t say, ‘What right have you to tell me that?’ It is a fact. Then let’s find out why thought does this. Why thought captures the sensation and makes an image out of it. You understand what I am saying? Why? Now you see, why does thought do this?
Q: Trapped in memory which likes to repeat itself.
K: Yes, no. This is the habit, isn’t it? This is our unconscious, unaware movement. Right? I see something, immediately – we never separate thought from sensation. You understand what I am saying? I wish you could. Am I talking sense or nonsense? You judge – please, you question what I am saying. So thought is more dominant than desire. Right? I wonder if you see that? Which is, thought shapes sensation. Right? You have had sex last night and thought is going on – the image, the picture, the wanting.
So desire and thought go together. Right? Are you following? Is that so? Or is desire something totally different from thought? Or they are always going together like two horses. And then like two horses trotting along together, then thought says, ‘I must control’. I wonder if you understand?
So when one is aware of this movement of seeing, contact, sensation and thought capturing the sensation, creating an image, at that moment desire is born. Now can there be a hiatus, a gap, an interval, between sensation and the moment when thought captures sensation? You understand what I mean? I see – one sees a car, a very good model, beautifully polished, beautiful lines and aerodynamic and all the rest of it. And you see it. The seeing, going round it, touching it, sensation. Why don’t you stop there? Why does thought take over so quickly? If you are aware of this whole movement then there can be observation very clearly when thought begins to come in. Right? When you observe it so closely then thought hesitates. You follow? I wonder if you follow all this?
So attention to all this denies totally any control. I wonder if you understand this? After all, when I control my desire, the controller is another form of desire. Right? So one desire is in conflict with another desire. But if we understand the whole movement of desire then – you understand – there is a certain quality of discipline, not control. But the awareness, or the attention to this whole movement is its own discipline. Am I talking…? No, you haven’t done any of this. It is all totally new.
Q: Can I ask you a question about thought? When we go now from this tent, what do we do with our thoughts that they don’t start?
K: I explained this, madam, the other day. Thought is necessary in certain areas otherwise you and I couldn’t speak English. Thought is necessary for you to go home, to do your job, your skill. Thought has built the extraordinary things of the world, cathedrals, atom bomb, the marvellous submarines. And also thought has created all the things that are in the cathedrals, the vestments, the robes – and all the rest of it, and also thought has created war – my country, your country, my tribe and your tribe. So all that we are saying is: thought is necessary in certain places, thought is not necessary in other areas. That requires a great deal of observation, attention, care, to find out where thought is not necessary. Right? But we are so impatient, we want to get at it quickly, like taking a pill for a headache. But we never find out what is the cause of the headache. You understand? And all the rest of it. So if this is very clear, the origin and the beginning of desire, then that very clarity is its own order, then there is no discipline, desire.
Right? Have I made this somewhat clear?
Q: What is the difference between the quality of desire of buying something or to look for truth?
K: The desire for a blue suit, blue shirt, blue blouse, whatever it is, and desire for truth are exactly the same, because they are both desire. I might desire a beautiful car, and you might desire for heaven, what is the difference? We are trying to understand desire, not the objects of desire. Your object may be to sit next to god, my object of desire may be to have a nice garden. But desire is common to both of us and we are trying to understand desire, not your heaven and my garden. If I understand desire, then whether you have heaven – you follow?
3rd QUESTION: Jealousy and mistrust are poisoning my relationship with someone. Is there any solution other than isolating myself from every other human being except him?
I wonder why you laugh. This is a common everyday human life. Right? How do you answer this question? If I put this question to you, how would you deal with it? What would be your reaction, your response to this question? Would you laugh? Would you say, ‘I am not jealous’? So let’s go together into this very complex question, which is a human question. It is not something about heaven, or nirvana, or illumination. You know, sir, unless we keep our house in order, meditation and other things have no value. Right? If my house, which is me, is not in complete order, without any conflict, what is the point of meditation? It is another escape, another illusion. But when my house is in order, completely, without any shadow in my house, then meditation is something entirely different. But we think by meditating, god knows what, then your house will be in order. See how deceptive we are. So let’s go into this.
Jealousy and distrust, poisoning one’s life, have I to isolate myself to be with her, or him? Why do we possess people? Right? Why? We are having a dialogue please. Why do I possess my wife? And my wife delights in possessing me. Why?
Q: I need the status and there is fear of being alone.
K: Which means what? Sir, look: we are asking this question, to end jealousy, not just to go on and on and on for the rest of our life. Like desire, to understand it so fully, it becomes very simple. So I want to find out why I am jealous. Why I am jealous of my wife, or she is jealous of me. Is it that we want to possess each other? What does that mean? What am I possessing? The body? Please enquire with me sirs. The body, the organism and what is implied in possession? To dominate. Right? Doesn’t it? Oh, come on sirs. I want to possess her – go into it: why do I want to possess? Because I am lonely, she gives me comfort, she is mine, legally, morally, the church has blessed it, or the Registrar has blessed it, and I hold her – why? Is it because I am lonely? If I am lonely I want to escape from that tremendous void of the word which I use, ‘lonely’, to escape from it – to which I escape to becomes all important. You understand? I escape from life by inventing god and I hold to that god because that is the only thing I have.
So, I possess her, and what does that mean, in possessing somebody? Dominating, identifying myself with her – go slowly, enquire slowly. And it gives me a sense of power. Right? And at the end of all this I say she is mine. People like to be possessed – don’t you? No? Can you say to your wife, ‘I don’t possess you’? Oh, you people have never done anything. And I am jealous, which is, she is depriving me of my stability, my security when she goes away and talks to somebody else, or looks at somebody else, or does something or other with somebody else. I am at a loss. She has deprived me of my identity, driven me to my loneliness. And I hate all that. So I am jealous of her. Which means, jealousy implies hate, anger, violence, beating – god, don’t you know all this? And I can’t let her go and she can’t let me go, and we live like that. Jealousy, distrust, feeling lonely deeply inside but trying to escape from it, that’s my life, and that is what we call relationship, and that is what we call love. You understand, sirs?
So one asks a much deeper question: is love desire? Go on sirs. Is love pleasure? You have to answer that question, not I. It is your life not my life. And can each of us see this fact, what possession, domination, power, does to each of us? The man may see it first, or the woman may, then will she help him to see all this? And is he willing to listen to all this? You are following all this, or is this all strange to you? Will he, or she listen to each other, the basis of it, being afraid to lose – you understand? Afraid of losing one’s security in relationship. And when that security is shaken I am jealous. Will my wife listen to me? And I say to her, ‘Look, old girl, I love you but I don’t possess you’ – could you say that? My golly! ‘I am free of you and you are free of me.’ Which doesn’t mean free love and going off, you know, changing every year a new man or a new woman. But seeing the whole problem, not just jealousy, how to get rid of jealousy, or distrust, but seeing the whole problem of relationship, which is very complex, which demands subtlety, sensitivity.
Q: I can see it.
K: But will you do something about it? One can intellectually understand all this, verbally, which you call intellectually. What value has it when I carry on with jealousy for the rest of my life and that jealousy creates wounds in me psychologically? I am hurt inwardly and I carry on with that hurt, with that jealousy, with that distrust – is this the way to live? So merely to see it all intellectually has very little meaning. But if you say, ‘Look, I am jealous. Let’s go into it. Let’s find out whether it can end’ – which means do I possess anything at all? Am I attached to anything? Attached to my wife, husband, attached to ideals, my future success – you know, attachment. When you are attached then there is jealousy, there is anxiety, there is pain. If you see that very clearly then the thing becomes very simple. But you don’t want to see it clearly because we want to live the way we have lived for a million years. Right?
Can we go on to the next question? Or do you want to escape from these questions?
Q: Can I ask a question? How does one break free of habits? Once one has intellectually reached an understanding from such as one has just discussed, how does one break free of habit then?
K: When one understands something verbally, so-called intellectually, how does one break that habit. That is the question the gentleman asked.
What is habit? It is a repetition, isn’t it? Cleaning one’s teeth every morning, afternoon and evening, it becomes a routine, you don’t pay attention, you just do it very quickly and get off. So the brain establishes a pattern, drinking, sex, whatever it is, it establishes a pattern, then repeats it, then it becomes mechanical. Right? Are you following all this? So the brain through constant habits has become what it is now – not active, alive. So the gentleman asks: how do you break a habit, whatever the habit? A habit to search for god, to go to some exotic guru who promises you everything and lets you do what you like – you know all the crazy things that are going on in the world. Now how do you break a habit? Without conflict – right? You understand? Let’s say I have a habit, of what – give me a habit, would you please.
K: Smoking is such an easy affair, that is an easy affair to stop.
Q: Always giving the same answer.
K: I hope I am not giving the same answer. It doesn’t matter. I have a habit, smoking, scratching my head, keeping my mouth open, habit of thinking the same thing over and over and over again, or the habit of chattering. Let’s take chattering.
I am not only chattering with myself but I am always endlessly talking with others. Right? The other day somebody came to see me, it was an interview. I don’t give interviews anymore but she insisted, she came. The moment she entered – please, it is none of you here – she began to talk, talk, talk, and when she left, ‘I am glad to have met you.’ We all chatter endlessly; not only some go back and forth, but also chatter inwardly. That has become an extraordinary habit for most people, they can never be quiet, never be silent. Silence in the sense the brain completely still, but that is a different matter, we can go into it later. So this habit of chattering. How do I stop it? First of all, who is to stop it? Another chatterer who says, ‘I must stop this chattering but I will have my own chattering’ – you understand? So who is to stop chattering? Fear? Seeing that it is a wastage of energy, chattering, chattering, then will you stop that?
So we have to ask a question which is more serious: is there an entity outside of you, or inside of you, that will act as a brake upon chattering, that will say, ‘No I will not chatter’? Is it – please listen carefully – is it will, the decision not to chatter? And if it is will, what is will? The quintessence of desire – right? Right? Are you all tired?
K: All right. How quickly you answered.
So, how do you stop a habit of chattering? First of all, if you stop it through will, through desire, that creates another conflict, doesn’t it? And to stop chattering without conflict – you understand my question? – is that possible? I chatter. First of all I am not aware I am chattering. You point it out to me and say, ‘Old chap do stop chattering so much.’ And I get rather hurt by it but if I go beyond that and I say, ‘Now, in what manner am I to stop it?’ Then I have got the orthodox means of will, or taking a drug that will quieten me down, and having been quietened I take another drug to keep me awake – and I keep on that routine. So I want to find out how to stop a habit, like chattering, keeping your mouth open, scratching yourself, all kinds of things, without any kind of effort. You understand my question? This is an important question. To do something without effort. Does it amuse you, it’s fun. Will you do this? Find out your particular habit, aware of it, and say, now, can it be ended without any action of will, decision, compulsion, reward – you understand – reward and punishment they are the two elements we live on. So can I break that habit without any side effects. Right? Can we go into this? I will go into it.
First of all am I aware of my habit, not that you point it out to me and then I realise it, but am I aware of my habits without somebody telling me of my habits. You understand? See the difference. If you tell me my habit then I either resist it, or say, yes, I must stop it. But if I see it for myself I am a step ahead, if I can so put it. Right? Now are we aware of our particular habit, chattering, we took that? Now what does that awareness mean? Awareness means to look at something without any reaction, without any choice. I am aware that I am chattering, that is first. Then to be aware, to watch it without any condemnation, justification or explanation, just to watch it. Will you do that? So that the old reactions don’t come in, the old tradition doesn’t come in and say, ‘I must stop it’, I must do this, I must do that. So to watch the chattering very carefully. To watch it means without any reaction of past memories. This becomes very difficult. You understand? If I watch that tree in movement in the wind, it is a beautiful thing, and I don’t like wind therefore I won’t watch it. Similarly in a certain way, I can watch my chattering. The watcher is not different from chattering. So the watcher is not the structure of words, memories, he is just watching. You understand? Please this is rather complex and requires a great deal of enquiry.
We watch things with our prejudices, with our opinions, with our memories, the whole structure of words. Right? We watch everything that way. Now can you watch without all that memory, structure? That is where the art comes in, the art of watching. Now I watch – there is a watching of my chattering. I am aware and in that awareness I am not seeking any reward or punishment, I am just watching. Which means what? I am giving complete attention at that moment. Right? At that second all my energy, all my capacity and attention is there. Which means when there is complete attention, complete, not attention brought about through any form of desire, through any form of reward or punishment, just complete attention, then that habit has no place. You understand? Do it please, try it once. Now, you will say, yes, for the moment it is possible, I can see that can end, if I give complete attention to something there is an ending to it, but it comes back. Right? Are you following? It comes back, the chattering comes back. Then what is your reaction? I did it once, gave complete attention, and it seems to subside for the second, now if I give the same attention it will subside again. So you have become mechanical. I wonder if you see this? Do you understand this? I gave attention, complete attention, to my chattering. That flame of attention wiped away for a few minutes chattering. I have seen the thing works. Then the next moment, or next hour, whatever period of time, you begin to chatter and suddenly catch yourself and say, ‘I must pay attention.’ So again you repeat, again it disappears. So gradually what you are learning is paying attention, which means you are not attending. Have you understood what I am saying? If you are constantly reminding yourself to attend, it is not attention. But attention has no time – oh, I won’t go into all this.
If you give your complete attention, which means there is no wastage of energy, then the thing goes away. So your concern is not attention but wasting energy – you follow? We waste energy in a thousand ways, chattering is one of the ways. So, all right, I don’t pay attention any more about chattering, but I am going to see how I waste my energy – right? I am going to pursue that. I am going to watch, learn, see where I am wasting energy. Oh, there are so many ways. Right? So my mind is now not becoming mechanical by the repetition that I must attend but it is moving. Right? All the time picking up new things. I wonder if you see all this? So that the brain becomes extraordinarily alert, and when it is so alert habits have no place.
Is that enough for today? What time is it?
Q: Five after one.