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Chapter 7 - Self-centred Activity and Psychic Energy - Discussion in Bombay on 19 January 1977

Chapter 7 - Self-centred Activity and Psychic Energy - Discussion in Bombay on 19 January 1977

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Pupul Jayakar (PJ): I thought we could discuss one of the chief blockages in our capacity to understand what you are saying and see its implications in our daily living, and that is the factor of self-centred activity.

Krishnamurti (K): Self-centred activity. Good idea; let's discuss it. Would you explore it?

PJ: It doesn't matter what we do, but the concern with its implications on ourselves seems to colour the doing. Is there a way of operating in which even though this concern with the self may exist, we can put it in its place?

K: When you talk about self-centredness, a centre implies a periphery. Can we say that where there is a centre, there is a boundary. And where there is a centre and a boundary or a periphery, all action must be within that centre and periphery. The centre implies a periphery or a boundary, a limitation, and all action must be within that circle. That's what I would consider self-centred activity.

PJ: What are the boundaries of the self?

K: It can be limitless or very limited, but there is always a boundary.

P.Y. Deshpande (PYD): Limitless?

K: Limitless. You can push it as far as you like.

PYD: So long as there is a centre, it is bound to be limited whether it is long or short.

K: That's it. As long as there is a centre there is a periphery, a boundary, but that boundary can be stretched.

PYD: Yes, stretched.

K: That's what I am saying.

PYD: Not limitless.

K: Stretch it as far as you like.

PJ: Does that mean that there is no limit to the stretching?

K: Let us go slowly.. When we talk of self-centred activity, that is what is implied-a centre and a periphery, a limitation; and within that circle all action takes place, which is self-centred activity. I think about myself, I make progress towards something. It is still from a centre to a point, within the periphery, within that circle. From the centre you can stretch as far as you like-social service, democracy or electorate dictatorship, tyranny; everything is within that area.

Achyut Patwardhan (AP): Also, awakening of kundalini and all that.

K: Oh God! Awakening of kundalini-do you want to go into that?

AP: No, sir. I just said it can also become a projection of the centre.

Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): Yes, sir, we want to go into it.

K: I see you all waking up! [Laughter]

Apa Pant (APP): This seems to be more interesting than the centre. [Laughter]

AP: As it is understood in the circles interested in this in India, it has become a form of sophisticated behaviourism.

K: All behaviour-good, bad, trying to become something, trying not to become something, to achieve, to arrive at enlightenment, all that. Where there is a centre, there must be a periphery, and all action takes place within that area: cleverness, business, gods, rituals. So, what's the point?

AP: The point is: is it possible for there to be an action which does not...

K: ...have a centre? Or can there be an action...

AP: ...which does not nourish the centre?

K: No. Can there be no centre?

AP: But we start with a centre. We can say honestly, factually that we know there is a centre, and we know that every activity, including breathing, nourishes that centre.

K: I wouldn't accept the breathing, no. Come off it, Achyut.

AP: You do breathing deliberately and say, 'Now I am going to do this kind of breathing, I am going to do that kind of breathing.'

K: That is not necessarily the centre; that may be mere physical exercise.

AP: I am not sure. Usually we seek some other end out of it. We'll wipe it out. We will say only this: is it possible for a man not to nourish his centre by any kind of action?

K: You want to discuss that?

PJ: Is it possible to awaken...

K: ...kundalini...

PJ: ...that energy-I won't use the word kundalini-which will without any volition on my part wipe it out?

K: Yes, that's the whole question.

AP: That's a good question.

K: That is a different question altogether. But the point is that the energy that is expended within a circumference and a centre is a limited energy, a mechanical energy. Must we go into all this?

AP: No, it is quite clear.

K: Not verbally, actually inside you. Where there is a centre there must be circumference, and any action that takes place within that area is limited, fragmented, and is therefore a wastage of energy.

Vijay Anand (VA): These words centre and circumference describe something diagrammatically, but to realize it in ourselves would be the first problem.

K: That is the problem, sir. We are selfish entities, we are self-centred human beings. Self-centred human beings are completely selfish. Either you are completely selfish- thinking about yourself, your worries, your family, you, you, you-or you can move that centre to social work, to political work, but it is still the centre operating.

PJ: That is a little more subtle to see because you can concern yourself with something in which you feel the centre is not involved.

K: You may think so, but it is. I work for the poor, which is a mania in this country, but I am still working within that limitation.

PJ: I want some clarification. It is not the work for the poor which is in itself...

K: No. It is the identification of myself with the poor. Identification of myself with the nation, identification of myself with God-if there is God-identification of myself with some ideal and so on; that is, always moving from the centre to the circumference, to the periphery. And therefore it is very limited energy, rather it is self-destructive energy.

APP: I think the question Pupulji asked was whether this constant movement of the mind which expends and exhausts itself can be stilled. What energy gushing out can silence this movement or make it irrelevant or make it seem like a shadow?

K: I don't quite follow you.

PJ: It really is this: we have done everything to understand the nature of this self-centred activity. We have observed, we have meditated, but the thing doesn't cease.

K: No, because I think we make a mistake. We don't see, actually see, perceive in our heart, with our mind that any action within this periphery-from the centre to the periphery, circumference, and then from the circumference to the centre-this movement back and forth is a wastage of energy and must be limited, must bring in more sorrow, within that area. We don't see that.

PJ: It is part of our brain cells, and it is the action of our brain cells to constantly throw out these ripples, which are in a sense self-centred existence.

K: Just look. The brain, as we said-with which, I think, most of the brain specialists would agree-needs two things: security and a sense of permanency.

PJ: Both are provided by the self.

K: That is why it has become important. See the importance of it.

APP: The brain is a mechanical or physical entity with its habit of seeking security or continuance; how do you get out of this habit or this mechanical obstruction? I think that is what she is hinting at.

K: I don't want to get out. Any movement to get out is still within the periphery.

APP: This is what I mean: it is a habit. You've got into a rut, into the habit of seeking security or continuance.

AP: I think we have moved one step further than this with you. I think our minds, our brains, every bit of our thinking process is totally convinced that there is no security, there is no permanence, and that permanence and security are both the creations of ignorance. That is to say we have seen it actually. I don't think that in those of us who have been with you there is even one per cent resistance to this. When you make a statement that the greatest security is the recognition of insecurity, that impermanence is the perfume of life, there is not one fragment of our being that is in dissonance with it.

K: What is it you are trying to say?

AP: I am saying that we have heard the true note and we have said that it is the true note.

K: But is there a movement, is there an action which is not self-centred?

AP: I am coming back to Pupulji's statement that there is an energy of attention.

PJ: I asked it in a different perspective. I said that when we observe ourselves in self-centred activity, it ceases. We know that. We know a state when it appears as if the self is not, but then if the seed of it is held within the brain cells, it will repeat itself again. If that is so, if it is held within the brain cells and its own action will throw it out, then I say to myself that there must be another energy. There must be another...

K: ...quality of mind...

PJ: ...which will wipe it out.

APP: You see, the computer that our brain is, it has become very complicated, and the computerized feedback and whatever you do in programming is becoming more and more complicated every day. Now, what is the energy-is it attention, is it silence? Is it external, is it internal?

K: Our brain has been programmed for centuries to function from the centre to the periphery, from the circumference to the centre-a back-and-forth movement. It is programmed for that, it is trained for that, it is conditioned for that. Right? So you are asking, 'Is it possible to break that conditioning? Is it possible to break the momentum of the brain cells which have been moving in that direction all the time, to stop it?' That's it, isn't it?

PJ: No, I am not asking that question.

APP: This is my question.

PJ: I am not asking whether you can break that momentum. I am asking another question altogether. Is there another energy...

K: ...which has no motive at all...

PJ: ...which will, without my volition, without any volition, wipe it out?

K: Let's be clear, Pupulji. There are two questions. Can this momentum, can this programmed brain which has been conditioned for millennia, stop? The moment it stops, it has broken the movement. Ah, I found something. The moment it stops, you have broken it. The other question is: is there an energy which is not a self-centred movement, an energy without a motive, without a cause, an energy which is endless?

PJ: And is it possible to investigate into...

K: ...that energy? We are going to.

AP: To which I wanted to add that the only instrument we have is attention. So any energy that you posit is an energy which to us must become manifest as attention.

SP: Why do you postulate that it must manifest as attention?

PJ: I don't want to postulate anything. I am asking Krishnaji something which, if I may say, we have not asked.

K: I understand what you are asking. May I put it?

PJ: Yes, sir.

K: You are asking, 'Is there an energy which is not from the centre, an energy which is without a cause, an energy which is inexhaustible and therefore non-mechanical?' Is that what you are asking?

PJ: Yes.

K: Now, let's settle the first question. We have discovered something: that is, the brain has been conditioned through millennia to move from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre, back and forth, extending it, limiting it, and so on. And is there a way of ending that movement? We just now said it ends when there is a stopping, when the plug is pulled out. The brain stops moving in that direction, and if there is any causation for the stopping, you are back again in the circle. Does that answer? Can that movement stop? Now the next question is: is that possible? I think that is a wrong question. When you see the necessity of stopping, when the brain itself sees the movement and stops, it has already ended the movement. I wonder if I am making myself clear?

VA: Yes. But it starts again. It stops the movement for a while, but then it starts again.

K: No. The moment you say you want it again, you are back in the centre. Right?

Questioner 1 (Q1): Probably he is asking how to bring about a permanent stop.

K: Ah, no, that's greed. [Laughter] If I see the truth or the fact that the moment there is the cessation of this movement, the ending of the movement, the thing is over. It is over; it is not a continuous stoppage. When you want it to be continuous, it is a movement of time.

APP: The seeing then is without movement. That seeing is a movement which is out of the centre, which is on a different dimension.

K: No, no. Seeing, observing the whole movement from the centre to the circumference, from the circumference to the centre-that movement is what is, with which you are familiar.

APP: But that seeing is without any centre.

K: Of course, of course.

APP: That seeing is on a different plane, a different dimension altogether.

K: There is a perception of it when you are aware of it, aware without any choice. Just be aware of this movement. The programme stops. Let's leave that, we will come back to it. The next question which you are all probably waiting for is: 'Is there an energy which is non-mechanistic, which has no causation and is therefore an energy that is constantly renewing itself, that is endless?' Isn't that the question?

PJ: Yes, sir.

K: What do you say?

VA: There is an energy of death.

K: What do you mean, sir? Death in the sense of ending?

VA: A total ending.

K: That is, the total ending of the movement.

VA: What I know as myself.

K: Just listen, you have said something. The total ending of this movement from the centre to the circumference is death, in one sense. Then is that the energy which is causeless?

VA: It is causeless. It comes like your blood.

K: I understand. But is that a supposition, a theory, or an actuality?

VA: An actuality.

K: Which means what? That there is no centre from which you are acting.

VA: Yes. For that period when that energy is there...

K: No, no. Not period.

VA: There is a sense of timelessness.

K: All right. At that second. Then what takes place?

VA: Then the thought comes back again.

K: So you are back again from the centre to the periphery, and then there is the remembrance of that incident and the wanting of that incident.

VA: Right, sir.

K: Which is again operating from the centre to the periphery.

VA: One is afraid also. It is not only wanting it again; one gets afraid of that particular thing happening again because it is total death.

K: It has happened without your invitation.

VA: Yes.

K: Now you are inviting it.

VA: I don't know whether I am inviting it or whether I am afraid of it.

K: Yes. Afraid, inviting, whatever-it is all still within the field of this self-centre. The other question is what Pupulji raised-about endless energy. You want to discuss kundalini?

PJ: Yes, sir.

K: First of all, if you really want to discuss it, have a dialogue about it, would you forget everything you have heard about it? Would you? We are entering into a subject which is very serious. It isn't just an amusement for a morning. Are you willing to forget everything that you have felt about it, what your gurus have told about it, or your attempt to awaken it, and start with a carte blanche. You know what a carte blanche is: a completely clean slate. Can you?

VA: Yes.

K: Sir, don't say yes. You have to inquire, not knowing anything, really not knowing anything about kundalini, what people have said, all the attempts that have been made. You know what is happening now in America? Kundalini centres are being formed by people who say, 'I have had the experience of kundalini, the awakening of it, the pain of it', and all the rest of it. It brings about a different kind of energy which scientists are interested in, and they say that if you can do certain forms of exercise, breathing, this, that and the other, you will have it. And this is being trotted out all over the world, and therefore it is becoming a money-making concern and is being given to people who are terribly mischievous. A good businessman wants this kind of energy; he says, 'Give it to me, I will make millions out of it.' All that kind of horror is going on.

APP: I was told by a professor that in Europe communists are starting yogic centres because they can then influence the mind.

K: I know.

APP: They get a power, as it were, to influence the minds of others. So it has become a method of thought control.

K: This is what the gurus have done, this is what the propagandists have done in a different way. So is that the reason why you want to know what this energy is?

VA: No, sir. It is for knowing whether that energy can throw away the present conditioning.

K: No sir, no sir. Not something else will break this self-centred activity. You see, where we are leading to? That is why I object to this discussion on kundalini or whatever that energy is, because we haven't done the spadework. We don't lead a life of correctness; we want to add something new to it so as to carry on our mischief.

Q1: Even after awakening kundalini, self-centred activity continues. There are those who claim that they have awakened kundalini, and yet their self-centred activity continues.

K: I question whether they have awakened kundalini. I don't know what they mean by it.

VA: We really want to understand this; it is an actuality sometimes.

K: No, sir.

PJ: We know of an energy when self-centred activity ends for an instant. We assume that that is the source of endless energy. It may not be.

K: Are you saying that the ending of this movement from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre...

PJ: The momentary ending which we know of.

K: No. The ending of it, the complete ending of it, is the release of that energy which is limitless.

PJ: I don't say that.

K: I am saying that. Can we put this energy, kundalini energy, in its right place? Can we? Sir, lots of people have this experience of what they call kundalini, which I question. When I say I question, I mean I want to investigate it; I am not opposing it, I am not saying they are wrong. I question whether it is an actual reality or some kind of physiological activity, which then is attributed to kundalini. Or is it some kind of physical disease-I am taking all these into account-and then they say it is kundalini? While they live an immoral life, in the sense of a stupid life, a vain and self-centred life, while their daily life is self-centred, they say they have awakened kundalini. I question it.

PJ: Sir, let us examine it in oneself. Kundalini is linked to certain psychic centres located in certain parts of the body.

K: That is what is said, that is right.

PJ: That is what is said. That is the first question I would like to ask you.

K: What is it?

PJ: Has the release of this energy, which has no end, anything to do with the psychic centres in the physical parts of the body?

K: You are asking a lot of questions.

AP: Before we go into that: I think the question you have posed is a very important one which receives very little attention, and it is that if there has to be an accession of energy through this, that and the other thing, it is necessary to see that the person is incapable of doing harm.

K: Ah no, sir, do be careful. How can you say somebody is incapable of doing harm? The saints, the Indian saints have done tremendous harm misleading people.

AP: That is what I say. Unless one's heart is cleansed of hate and the thirst to do harm is completely transmuted, this energy can do nothing but more mischief.

K: Achyutji, we will come to that question. What Pupulji is asking is: there is the standard acceptance of this energy going though various centres and releasing and so on.

AP: There is in the Indian tradition the word adhikar which, I think is very valuable. Adhikar means that the person must cleanse himself sufficiently before he can pose this question to himself.

K: Yes, that's good enough. Are you saying that unless there is a stoppage of this movement from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre, Pupul's question is not valid?

AP: I think so.

PJ: I take it that when one asks a question of this kind, there is a depth of self-knowing with which one asks. I mean I cannot make any other statement about it, but then investigating the self also releases energy.

K: Of course.

PJ: If one's life does not have a degree of inner balance, what Krishnaji says will have no meaning. How will it ever enter the depths of our consciousness unless our self-knowing is deep enough to at least expose the depths of our consciousness to what he is saying? When one listens to Krishnaji, one receives it at the depth to which one has exposed oneself, and therefore I think it is right to ask the question.

AP: If I may say, there is the artist and the creativity of the artist.

K: I question if the artist is creative-unless he is living a holistic life. Finished.

AP: I can see that. What I want to say is that the touch of creativity the artist may get in a normal selfless existence does not call upon that accession of energy which Pupulji is talking of.

PJ: We are talking at two different levels. I am asking one question: why is it more dangerous? I ask Krishnaji this question rather than any other question, rather than a question about what is God, what is meditation, what is this, what is that. Why is this question more dangerous? A mind which will comprehend will comprehend this and that. The mind that will not comprehend will comprehend neither. The mind that wants to misuse can misuse anything.

AP: I won't agree to that.

K: That's obvious, sir.

Q1: That energy can be dangerous to the organism.

PJ: But it is not going to awaken in us.

K: Unless you lead a daily life which is a completely non-selfcentred way of living, the other cannot possibly come in.

VA: But that is a different matter. That energy which comes when self-centred activity ends is totally different from kundalini or whatever it is.

K: No, sir!

PJ: But this is all speculation.

K: It's all speculation.

SP: Some people have talked to me about their having awakened kundalini. Many things happened to them: they are frightened of it, many of them are frightened.

PJ: They are frightened, but if you start investigating the self, you get certain psychic experiences.

SP: We would like to know what is that energy which creates fear. What is it?

VA: Fear comes later. One experiences death and everything vanishes. You are dead, and you are alive again, and you are surprised that you are alive again. You find the world again, and your thoughts and your possessions and your desires and the whole world slowly come back.

K: Would you call that the awakening of kundalini?

VA: I don't know.

K: Don't label it.

VA: I am not labelling it.

K: You are labelling. Forgive me.

VA: For some days after that, for a month your whole life changes.

K: Yes, sir, I understand.

VA: Sex vanishes, desires vanish.

K: And you come back to it again.

VA: You come back to it because of fear, because you don't understand what is happening.

K: That is what I am saying. When there is a coming back to something, I question whether you have had that energy.

VA: I myself question it.

K: Yes.

PJ: Sir, I am asking only this: why has this question of mine awakened so many ripples? Most people go through a great deal of psychic experiences in the process of self-knowing. One also understands-maybe because one has listened to Krishnaji-that a psychic experience, when it comes, has to be put aside.

K: Is that understood? Psychic experience must be totally put aside.

PJ: It is only then that there is sanity of approach.

AP: This point that Pupulji just now made-that psychic experience, if it comes, must be put aside-is the beginning. I remember hearing this twenty-five years ago.

K: I know, sir.

AP: So I say we start with this.

PJ: We give no importance to it.

AP: We put it aside, not only not give it importance.

VA: Some new passages do get opened in the body, and the energy keeps rising in those passages whenever it is required. You cannot put them aside.

PJ: I don't know. It is very difficult to talk about another person.

VA: Your nerves shiver, you get tremendous headaches.

K: Sir, why do you call it something extraordinary? Why do we attribute something extraordinary to it? I am just suggesting it. It may be that you have become very sensitive, acutely sensitive; that's all.

VA: I have more energy.

K: Sensitivity has more energy.

VA: Do you mean to say energies come?

K: Yes, sir, if you are really sensitive; you follow? But why do you call it extraordinary, kundalini, this, that, and the other?

PJ: The real issue is to what extent your life has changed.

K: That's the question.

PJ: The only meaning of any awakening is when there is a totally new way of looking at things, a new way of living, a new way of relationship.

VA: There is a new brain, but the old brain is always in conflict with the old habits.

K: Never, sir! That's the whole point; you people are missing it.

VA: Then what is real kundalini, if this is not kundalini? Taking it for granted that one is living a holistic life, is there something like kundalini?

K: If you lead a holistic life, is there something else?-that's an impossible question. When you drop the 'if', are you living a holistic life?

VA: No.

K: Therefore don't ask the question.

VA: I am only asking about the validity of a thought like this-the consequence of living on kundalini.

K: No, sir.

PJ: You see, I am asking from a totally different point of view.

K: A totally different point. I know. Go on, Pupul, pose that question once more.

PJ: I posed one question to you, and it is that kundalini, as it is understood, is the awakening of certain psychic energies which exist at certain physical points in the human body, and is it possible to awaken these psychic energies...

K: ...through various practices?

PJ: ...through various practices, which then, as they go through these various psycho-physical centres, transmute consciousness, and when they finally break through, you are through the self-centred activity. This must be the basic meaning of the whole thing.

APP: Mescaline can do it...

PJ: I am just asking Krishnaji whether there is an energy which on awakening-not on being awakened-completely wipes out the centre.

K: I would say the other way: unless the self-centred movement stops, the other cannot be.

SP: You mean the question cannot be asked from this side at all?

AP: I want to say that there is in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain tradition a deviation...

K: Sir, sir, I don't want to know what traditions say.

AP: No, sir. It is very important because it is going under the name of religion, and I say that the whole hatha yoga tradition has engendered a belief that by manipulating these centres you can do things to yourself.

K: Yes, sir, I know these things.

AP: I say the whole idea is based on a wrong belief.

PJ: All right. I will wipe out everything I have said.

AP: We should wipe it out.

PJ: Let me ask you another question. I would have liked for myself to inquire into it, but it seems it is not possible. What is the nature of the field of the human mind which needs to be prepared? What is the nature of the human mind, including the brain, which needs to be prepared to be able to receive that which is limitless? Let me put it that way.

K: You are asking, what is the soil in which that energy can take place?

PJ: Yes. We won't talk about the energy as such. I am talking of the nature of the soil which is the nature of our own consciousness, which is the nature of our own brain cells.

K: Are you cultivating the soil of the brain, or the mind, in order to receive it?

PJ: I understand that.

K: Answer my question.

PJ: I understand your question, but I can say neither yes nor no to it.

K: Then why bother about that energy entering that soil? Prepare, work at it.

PJ: But why does one prepare the soil?

K: I'll make it very simple. I live a life of contradiction, conflict, misery; I want to find out if it can end-my sorrow, the whole human sorrow-and if there can be compassion, all the rest of it. I will go into that; I don't want to inquire into anything else.

SP: Asking the question 'Is there a way of living with compassion?' is also part of cultivating the soil, having a motive. Why are you asking this question about cultivating the soil?

K: I never said, 'Cultivate the soil.'

PJ: I asked the question.

K: I understand what the question is. I say that as along as you have a motive to cultivate that soil in order to receive that energy, you will never receive it.

SP: What is the motive? Is it a motive to see this whole prison and ask whether there is a way out of this? Then one gets caught with any question.

K: No, no. Please, you haven't listened. I live a life of torture, misery, confusion. That's the basic thing, and can that end?

SP: That's all right.

K: There is no motive.

SP: Here there is no motive, but you are also asking a further question.

K: No. I don't have any further question, except that first question: can that whole process end? Then only can I answer other questions that have tremendous significance. It is like giving me an extraordinary toy, an extraordinary something in my rotten little life.

SP: One cannot say one has not asked that question.

K: What is the question you are asking?

SP: Any question about a different energy, you say, should not be asked at all because it is still in this field.

K: No, I will ask it.

SP: How will I ask?

PJ: I've asked him.

K: She has asked me.

SP: I thought you said you can't ask it.

K: I said no.

PJ: And I will continue to ask. I may not ask you here, but I will continue to ask that question.

K: What is the question you are asking?

PJ: I have withdrawn my question just now.

SP: The second question.

PJ: The second question which I have asked is: what is the nature of the soil of the human mind which has to be cultivated...

K: receive the other?

PJ: receive the other. You tell me that is also a wrong question. You say I am in conflict, I am in suffering, and I see that a life of conflict and suffering has to end.

K: That is all. Then I will tell you: if it cannot end, the other-the inquiry and the investigation and wanting to awaken the other in order to wipe this out-is a wrong process. Obviously. That is asking an outside agency to come and clear up your house. I say that in the process of clearing up the house, there are a great many things that are going to happen. You will have clairvoyance, the so-called siddhis, and all the rest of it. They will all happen, but if you are caught in them you are done; you can't proceed any further if you are caught in them. If you are not caught in them, the heavens are open to you-the heavens, you understand? There is the soil that has to be prepared, not in order to receive that, but the soil has to be prepared. Right? Because you live a contradictory life and so on, prepare, work there, clean the house so completely that there isn't a shadow of escape. Then we can ask, what is this thing they are all talking about? I am doing that, I am preparing the soil-not the soil; I am preparing-not preparing-I am working at the ending of sorrow, all the rest of it. I am working at it tooth and nail; I am not letting it go. And somebody comes along and says, 'Look, there is that extraordinary energy in kundalini and the various chakras and so on.' What do you answer to that? That is the point you are raising. You asked that question.

PJ: I asked that question.

K: And the man says, 'Look, I have finished with this, I have understood this, I am working at it.'

PJ: No. You see, the difference is this: I can never say I have understood it; I can only say I am working at it.

K: That's all. I said that.

APP: Yes, you said that.

K: I said that. You can never say, 'I've finished.'

PJ: I can never say I've finished. Now what? You mean the question is not valid?

K: No. I say it is valid, if you are working at that. If I am working at that, and you come along and say there is that thing as kundalini power, whatever you call it, then I am willing to listen. But if you deny this and say you will have that first and this will...right? If you are saying, 'I am working at this day and night, that's my job, that's my life' and you come along and ask, 'What about kundalini?' I answer you very clearly. Right?

APP: This is all right, Pupulji, this is all right.

K: She has asked that question.

PJ: I have asked that question.

K: Yes. Therefore I am answering you. Are you working at this?

(Q1): Yes, sir.

K: No gurus, no powers.

Q1: No gurus; working at it.

AP: The reason why I objected is that Hathayoga Pradipika states that this investigation into kundalini is in order to strengthen you in your search.

K: No!

AP: No. They say this.

K: Achyutji, I've grown up in this, and it's a lie.

AP: I have found that those books say one thing, and they have deviated, they have distorted, they have misled people, and I have really suffered agony because this country has gone to the dogs. One of the reasons is that in the name of religion we have spread poison, and therefore a man like me says we must be greatly on our guard not to repeat this.

K: Achyutji, please, for God's sake! Are you working at clearing up the house?

AP: Definitely.

K: That is the first question. Then Pupul comes along and says-second question-'I am doing that, and I am doing it per se, for itself.' And she says, 'These things are going round in the world, and I have heard a great deal about it; what do you say?' That's all the question is.

AP: The inquiry is valid.

K: Keep to it, sir. That's all the question is. What is the question? Is there a power, an energy, which is not mechanistic, which is endless, renewing itself? I say there is. Right? I say there is, most definitely. But it is not what is called kundalini. The body must be sensitive, obviously. If you are working at clearing up the house, the body becomes very sensitive. The body then has its own intelligence, not the intelligence which the mind dictates to the body. The body then has its own intelligence which rejects anything that is not suitable to the body. Therefore the body becomes extraordinarily sensitive. Not sensitive to its desires or sensitive to wanting something, but it becomes sensitive per se. Then what happens? You see, if you really want to go into it, if you want me to talk about it, I am rather hesitant. [Laughs] I have had a good deal of all this, so I am not talking in the air. The people who say they have had kundalini awakening-I question that, if they are not working at the other. They have not worked at the other but have awakened this; therefore I question their validity, their truth. I am not antagonistic, but I question it. A man who eats meat wants publicity, wants this and that and says, 'I have got kundalini working.' I say it is nonsense-to myself. So there must be the cleansing of the house all the time, ending of this and that. Then Pupul says, 'Please, can we talk about something which I feel must exist, not theoretically? I have had a glimpse of it, I've had a feeling of it, which is an energy which is endless.' And K comes along and says: 'Yes, there is such a thing, an energy which is renewing itself all the time, which is not mechanistic, which has no cause, which has no beginning and therefore no end. It is something that is like an eternal movement.' I am just using these words, I will change them. I say there is. What value has it to the listener? Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: I say yes and you listen to it. I say to myself, what value has that to you? Will you go off into that and not clear up the house and get caught in that, in what Hathayoga says, this, that, ten different things?

PJ: Does that mean that to the person who inquires, the cultivation of the soil, which is the ending of suffering, is really...

K: ...the only job he has to do.

PJ: The only job.

K: Yes. Nothing else. Look at these people: they are not clearing the house, they are completely sex maniacs, or some kind of idiocy is going on with them, and they talk about kundalini. I say sorry. Sir, it is the most sacred thing, therefore you can't invite it. And you are all inviting it.

VA: But if it possesses you without your invitation?

K: You don't exist! [Laughter] Look sir, clearing the house demands tremendous discipline-not the discipline of control, suppression, and obedience. It in itself demands tremendous-what?

VA: Energy.

K: No.

PJ: Ending of self-centred activity.

K: Yes. It demands tremendous attention to all that. When you give your complete attention, there is then a totally different kind of thing taking place-an energy. You see, there is no repetition. It isn't coming and going-I have it one day, and for a month I don't have it. And also it implies: can you keep the mind completely empty? Go on. Can you?

VA: For a while, sir.

K: Ah! Hold my hand. [Laughter]

VA: Emptiness gets filled up.

K: Ah, no. Can the mind keep itself empty? Then there is that energy. You don't even have to ask for it. Scientists are saying-I have talked to Dr Bohm about this-that when there is space it is empty and therefore full of energy. So in cleansing the house, in ending the things of the house-sorrow, all the rest of it-can the mind be completely without any motive, without any desire, be completely empty, not occupied?

PJ: I would like to ask you just one question: is the mutation of human consciousness the total transformation of human consciousness? Or the preparing of the soil is the only thing possible, and transformation, mutation, energy, all that is outside?

K: Yes. When this is taking place, when you are working at this, keeping the house clean, the other things come naturally. It isn't that you are preparing the soil for that.

PJ: In the very doing of it.

K: Yes. That is meditation.

PJ: And the nature of that is the transformation of the human mind.

K: Yes. You see, as Apa Saheb was saying, we are programmed to this conditioning. When there is the stopping of it, there is an ending of it. When you pull the plug out of the computer, it can't function anymore. So in the same way if there is an ending...

PYD: That involves some clarification of the word movement. Movement from the centre to the periphery, which is a continuity, and the movement of renewal are the same thing.

K: No, sir. The movement from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre- you all know that very well-which is, selfishness moving in one direction or in another direction or in various directions is still selfishness. Now the question is: can that centre, which is selfishness, end and not keep on and on and on? Can that end? When that ends, there is no movement of time; that's all. This is a movement of time. There, back to here, from there to there, which we all do-that is what is called time. When that stops, time stops. So when there is no movement of selfishness, there is a totally different kind of movement.

VA: If time stops, space also ends?

K: Not 'if'. Sir, have you done any of this? Have you said, 'Look, can time stop?'? You know what it means? Unless you have done some of it, unless you say, 'Let me find out what time is', it is really meaningless. Time is a movement of becoming, right? 'I am this, I must be that' or 'This is wrong, that should be'-that's a movement of time. To end all that. Have I answered your question, Pupul?

VA: You were saying something about keeping the mind totally empty?

K: Why do you want the mind to be empty? Your mind is occupied now, isn't it?

VA: Yes.

K: Occupied with something or the other, like a dynamo always moving, moving, moving. Can you stop it? Can the brain itself realize the wastage of this movement and say, 'Yes, that's enough'? Can you do it?

VA: Is the very understanding the dissolution of the centre? I mean, does the centre dissolve?

K: I said that consciousness is its content, the content being worry, fear, sorrow, all the rest of it. The content makes up consciousness. Now, can there be an emptying of the content? And when there is, the mind is empty.

VA: Empty of continuity.

K: No. Empty.

VA: Empty of the contents, yes. But does it have a continuity of the movement of thought?

K: No. When something ends, there is no continuity.

Q1: Something else will continue.

K: No, no! You always want something more. When consciousness is empty of its content, your consciousness, as you know it, is not. That's all.

VA: Consciousness as I know it.

K: What is your consciousness, sir?

VA: What I know.

K: What is it you know?

VA: Just whatever is inside, the content.

K: Be simple, sir. What is it you know?

VA: Whatever I have been taught, what I have been conditioned to.

K: Yes. Suffering, all that is part of your consciousness. Is it possible to empty all that? Not to be attached, not to belong to anything, not to have any conclusion, not to have fear, to end sorrow, all that. Can you do it?

VA: I have been trying.

K: I know. You can't try. Either you are doing it, or you know you have not done it.

VA: I am understanding it.

K: No! Are you doing it?

VA: I am doing it, yes.

K: Which means ending fear.

VA: Yes.

K: Which means: are you ending fear, or fear still lurks somewhere?

VA: It is lurking somewhere.

K: Therefore pull it out. Pull it out, look at it, watch it, let it grow, flower, and it'll end by itself. Like any flower, if you allow it to grow in the garden, it blooms and lasts for a certain period, and then it withers away. In the same way, can you do that with fear?

VA: I watch every time fear comes.

K: Ah, every time. And then what?

VA: It disappears.

K: Of course. The moment you watch it, it disappears.

VA: It disappears.

K: And then comes again.

VA: Well, there are different aspects to fear, you know.

K: Yes, of course, but the root of fear is obvious. There is only one root. Fear has many branches, but it has one root. So can you uproot that? Can the mind uproot that root and say 'Finished'? And the same with sorrow and all the rest of it. At the end of it if you have no love and compassion, you have to begin all over again because you have missed the boat. Somewhere it went wrong. If there is no love and compassion, you can just as well whistle in the dark. And all these people have no love and compassion. So emptying of the mind is the emptying of consciousness of its content, which is fear and so on. Do it. Which means you have to be aware of every movement of thought, not miss one thought.

VA: There is another question. You feel moments of emptiness, moments when the mind has stopped, and then again the thing continues, the process continues. What is that process? Does it mean that you have not understood the total?

K: Of course.

VA: Or you have not emptied out totally.

K: Yes.

VA: But these moments happen and become larger? In those moments of feeling emptiness, the mind stops, and you feel those moments, and then the process of thought starts, and you are back in it again.

K: Forget the moments of emptiness and go on with that.

VA: I see.

K: If you say, 'Well, I like to go back to that emptiness', you are just living in memory.

VA: All right.

K: Please, sir, I am not laying down the law, I am just suggesting.

VA: We just want assurances. We want to be assured that we are in the right process.

K: I will tell you the shortest way. Do you want to know? It is just to observe and end. That is, to observe so that there is no observer, to observe without the past. Then only you see the totality of fear, and that is finished. That is direct, if you can do it.