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Chapter 16 - Which is the honest desire or thought, and which is not?
Any form of conflict, struggle, corrupts the mind-the mind being the wholeness of all our existence. This quality is destroyed when there is any kind of friction, any kind of contradiction. As most of us live in a perpetual state of contradiction and conflict, this lack of completeness makes for degeneration. We are concerned here to discover for ourselves whether it is at all possible to end these degenerating factors.
Perhaps most of us have never thought about this; we have accepted it as a normal way of life. We have convinced ourselves that conflict, like competition, brings growth, and we have various explanations for this – the tree struggles in the forest for light; the baby just born struggles for breath; the mother labours to deliver. We are conditioned to accept this and to live in this manner. This has been the way of our life for generations, and any suggestion that perhaps there might be a way of life without conflict seems quite incredible. You may listen to this as some idealistic nonsense, or reject it out of hand, but you never consider whether there is any significance in the statement that it is possible to live a life without a shadow of conflict. When you are concerned with integrity and the responsibility of bringing about a new generation, which as educators is the only function you have, can you investigate this fact? And in the very process of educating, can you convey to the student what you are discovering for yourself?
Conflict in any form is an indication of resistance. In a fast flowing river there is no resistance; it flows around big boulders, through villages and towns. Man controls it for his own purpose. After all, doesn't freedom imply absence of the resistance that thought has built around itself?
Honesty is a very complex affair. When one says to oneself that one must be honest, is that possible? What are you honest about and for what reason? Can you be honest with yourself and so be fair to another? Is honesty a matter of ideals? Can an idealist ever be honest? He is living in a future carved out of the past; he is caught between that which has been and that which ought to be, and so he can never be honest. You are the centre of various sometimes contradictory activities, of various thoughts, feelings and desires which are always in opposition to each other. Which is the honest desire or thought and which is not? These are not mere rhetorical questions or clever arguments. It is very important to find out what it means to be totally honest, because we are going to deal with insight and the immediacy of action. It is utterly important, if we would grasp the depth of meaning of insight, to have the quality of complete integrity, to have that integrity which is the honesty of the whole.
One may feel honest about an ideal, a principle or an ingrained belief. Surely this is not honesty. Honesty can be only when there is no conflict of duality, when the opposite does not exist. There is darkness and light, night and day; there is man, woman, the tall, the short, and so on, but it is thought that makes them opposites, puts them in contradiction. We are expressing the psychological contradiction that mankind has cultivated. Love is not the opposite of hate or jealousy. If it were, it would not be love. Humility is not the opposite of vanity or pride and arrogance. If it were, it would still be part of arrogance and pride and so could not be humility. Humility is totally divorced from all this. A mind that is humble is unaware of its humility. So honesty is not the opposite of dishonesty.
One can be sincere in one's belief or in one's concept, but that sincerity breeds conflict; and where there is conflict there is no honesty. So we are asking if you can be honest to yourself. Yourself is a mixture of many movements crossing each other, dominating each other and rarely flowing together. When all these movements flow together, then there is honesty. There is separation between the conscious and unconscious, god and the devil. Thought has brought about these divisions and the conflict that exists between these divisions. Goodness has no opposite.
With this new understanding of what honesty is, we can proceed with the investigation into what insight is. This is utterly important because that may be the factor to revolutionize our action and bring about a transformation in the brain itself. We have said that our way of life has become mechanical-the past with all the accumulated experience and knowledge, which is the source of thought, is directing, shaping all action. The past and the future are interrelated and inseparable, and the very process of thinking is based upon this. Thought is ever-limited, finite. Though it may pretend to reach heaven, that very heaven is within the frame of thought. Memory is measurable, as time is. This movement of thought can never be fresh, new, original. So action based on thought must ever be broken up, incomplete, contradictory. This whole movement of thought must be deeply understood, including its place relative to seeing to the necessities of life and things that must be remembered. Then what is action which is not the continuance of remembrance? It is insight.
Insight is not the careful deduction of thought, the analytical process of thought or the time-binding nature of memory. It is instantaneous perception without the perceiver. From this insight, action takes place. From this insight the explanation of any problem is accurate, final and true. There are no regrets, no reactions. It is absolute. There can be no insight without the quality of love. Insight is not an intellectual affair to be argued about. This love is the highest form of sensitivity when all the senses are flowering together. Without this sensitivity-which is not to one's desires, problems and all the pettiness of life-insight is obviously quite impossible.
Insight is holistic. Holistic implies the whole, the whole of the mind. The mind is all the experience of humanity, including the vast accumulated knowledge with its technical skills, with its sorrows, anxiety, pain, grief and loneliness. But insight is beyond all this. Freedom from sorrow, from grief, from loneliness, is essential for insight to be. Insight is not a continuous movement. It cannot be captured by thought. Insight is supreme intelligence, and this intelligence employs thought as a tool. Insight is intelligence with its beauty and love; they are really inseparable; they are actually one. This is the whole, which is the most sacred.