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Talks in Bombay - 3rd Public Talk - 29th January, 1983 - ‘Is there a Psychological Evolution’

Talks in Bombay - 3rd Public Talk - 29th January, 1983 - ‘Is there a Psychological Evolution’

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Mind Without Measure

We must together perceive for ourselves what is truth and what is false; not to be told what is false or what is true, what is ignorance and what is knowledge, but to find for ourselves a quiet corner in ourselves, living in this dreadful city, living in small spaces, working all day long, commuting, going to great distances in crowded trains and buses. We must find for ourselves a quiet corner, not in a house or in a garden or an empty lane but deep within ourselves, and from there act, live, and find out for ourselves what is beauty, what is time, the nature and the movement of fear, the pursuit of pleasure and the ending of sorrow. We must have such a corner, not in the mind but in the heart, because then, where there is affection and love, intellect, understanding, comes clarity, and from that there is action. But most of us live such strenuous, conflicting, lives with much pressure around us. If we don’t find for ourselves some inward space, a space not created by thought, a space uncontaminated, clear, in which there is a light which is not lit by another, a light to ourselves so that we are totally free, we are not free human beings. We think we are free. We think we are free because we can choose, because we can do what we want, but freedom is something entirely different from the desire to do what we want. So we must together find for ourselves without guidance, without help, without any outside agency telling us what to do, how to behave, what is right action, and find in ourselves a space that has no ending and no beginning.

First of all, what is beauty? You may ask, what has that to do with our daily life? Our daily life is rather ugly, self-centred; our daily life is a conflict, pain, anxiety, and that sense of desperate loneliness. That is our daily life. To understand that, one must have a great sense of perception, seeing actually what is going on. One of the factors of our life is time. We are going to find out what is time, what part time plays in our life; and whether time which is the process of division, time which is a beginning and an ending, time which is becoming, whether that time – apart from chronological time, apart from the time of sun rising, sun setting, the beauty of the full moon and the slip of new moon – as a path includes or excludes beauty. This is important for us to understand because we have lost all sense of an aesthetic way of living. We have lost the sense of natural beauty, not the beauty of the face only or the good taste in clothes, and so on, but the quality of beauty. Beauty cannot exist without life. Beauty is not of time. Creation is not of time.

So, time is a great factor in our life. There is time by the watch, the chronological time and the time to learn a language, a skill, a time to achieve in this world – become from a clerk to the executive person, and so on. There is time in that direction. Is there time psychologically, that is, inwardly? Is there time which means a progress from here to there, in the sense of becoming more noble, more free of greed, anger, violence? Time is evolution. From the seed to a tree, from a baby to manhood, the growth, the becoming, all that implies time. Time has evolution. Now we are going to question together whether there is psychological evolution at all. This is important because time and thought are the root of fear. Fear cannot end or fade away or dissipate if you don’t understand the nature of time and the nature of thought which are the roots of all fear. We are examining together the nature of time. There is physical time, the new moon becoming the full moon, the seed growing into a great gigantic tree. Time is necessary to learn a language, a skill; time is necessary to accumulate knowledge. You may learn a language within a week or six months. To go from here to your house takes time; from one point to another. All physical movement, physical activity, learning, requires time. The psyche, that is, the bundle of all your thinking, of all your feelings, of all your conclusions, beliefs, gods, hope, fear, all that is a bundle, that is your consciousness, that is what you are. That is what your consciousness is. Your consciousness is made of all these things – your gods, your knowledge, your faith, your hope, your fears, your pleasures, your conclusions, your loneliness and the great fear of sorrow, pain. We are asking whether that consciousness has evolution at all.

Evolution means becoming, that is, I am greedy, envious, violent. Can greed evolve into non-greed? Or anger, loneliness, become gradually something else? All our tradition, all our religious training, our belief, our faith, and all the so-called sacred literature tell you that you will become something. If you make an effort, if you strive after, if you meditate, you will move from this to that, from ‘what you are’ to ‘what you should be’. That is evolution. Now the speaker is denying all that. The speaker is saying greed can never become better greed. There is only the ending of something, not becoming something. Most of you probably believe in reincarnation. Why do you believe in it? That is, from this life to next life, where you have better opportunities, where you will be a little bit nobler, where you have a little more comfort, more enlightenment; that is, from ‘what you are’ to become ‘what you should be’. That is called evolution. The speaker is questioning that. He says there is no such thing as psychological evolution. You have to understand the nature of that statement, what is implied – that there is no movement as the evolution of the psyche which means there is no becoming. I don’t become noble, I don’t achieve enlightenment if I practise, if I strive, if I deny this or control, and so on, which is gradation in achievement. So one has to understand the nature of time; time, as we said, essentially means to divide, break; time implies a beginning and an ending.

So we are going to talk over together the nature of fear; whether fear can end now or it must end gradually. We are used to the idea that gradually we will be rid of fear, which is, ‘I am afraid, but give me time, I will get over it.’ Can fear disappear through time or is the very time itself the root of fear? What is the root of fear? What is fear? You all know what fear is – fear of not becoming, not achieving, fear of the dark, fear of authority, fear of your wife or husband; fear has many, many aspects. We are not concerned with the many facets of fear or with the wiping away of one or two fears. It is like cutting the branches of a tree, but if you want to destroy the tree, you must uproot the tree, go to the very root of it. So look at that fear. What is fear – fear of an accident, fear of disease, and ultimate fear which is of death or the fear of living? Fear is much too deep to surrender it or to dispel it or to control it or to suppress it. One must enquire into the root of it. What is the root of fear? Is it not time, is it not remembrance, is it not an experience which you have had which was painful and the fear of it recurring again, fear of disease – are not all these the symptoms? We are not dealing with symptoms. We are concerned whether it is possible to uproot totally all fear. If that is clear, then we are concerned not with a particular fear, not your own special neurotic fear but with the nature, the structure, the cause of fear, because where there is a cause, there is an end. So we are together going to find out the cause.

One of the causes of fear is time. That is, the future, fear of what might happen, fear of the past which is time, which is a remembrance, which is thought. We are asking: are time and thought the root of fear are they the cause of fear? I am afraid of what might happen, that is, the future. Or I am afraid of something that has happened in the past that might happen again, that is, the past invading the present, modifying itself and going on. So time is one of the factors of fear. Now, I am asking whether thought is also a factor of fear, and if there is a difference between time and thought. Time is division as yesterday, today and tomorrow, the remembrance of the past projecting into the future, and we are afraid of that which might happen. Now, is thought one of the causes or the cause of fear? So what is thought? What is thinking? The most ignorant who does not know how to read or write, who lives in a small village, poverty-ridden, unhappy, he thinks too as you think, as the scientist thinks. Thinking is shared by all. It is not your thinking, it is not individual thinking. We are asking: is thought one of the factors of fear? We are investigating what is thinking. Thinking is shared by all humanity, whether the most educated, sophisticated, rich, powerful, and all the rest of it, or by the most simple, ignorant, half-starving person. It is common to all. Therefore it is not your thinking. You may express your thinking differently and I may express it in different words, but the fact is that we both think, and thinking is not yours or mine. It is thinking.

So what is thinking? Why has it become so extraordinarily important in your life? Please understand this. Give your mind to this. Because love and thinking cannot go together. Compassion is not the product of thought. Love cannot exist in the shadow of thought. Love is not remembrance. Please give your heart and mind to the understanding of this – that thinking is common to all of us. It is not individual thinking. You may express it and another may express it differently, most scholastically, and another may not, but thinking is shared by all. So what is thinking? When that question is put to you, you begin to think, don’t you? Or do you listen to the question? If you listen to the question, which is, your mind is not interfering with your conclusions, with your ideas, and so on, if you are listening with all your attention, which means with all your senses totally awakened, then you will see for yourself what is the origin of thinking. The origin of thinking is experience. Experience gives knowledge, whether it is scientific knowledge or the knowledge about wife or husband.

Experience, knowledge, stored in the brain as memory and response of memory, is thinking. This is very simple. It is a fact. You cannot think if there is no memory, if there is no knowledge, if there is no experience. So thinking is a process of time, because knowledge is a process of time and knowledge can never be complete. Therefore thought can never be complete; you must always be fragmented. So fear is the child of thought. So thought and time are the factors of fear.

Now, is thought different from time, or is thought time? Thought is a movement, is it not? It is a material process. Whatever thought has done is material. Your gods are created by thought, your rituals are created by thought. All the things that go on in the name of religion are created by thought. The gods, the gurus, everything is created by thought. Thought is limited, fragmented, because knowledge is limited, and all action then becomes limited. Where there is limitation, there must be fear. So we are asking, do thought and time work together or are they different? Or is there only thought which is divided as time, as progress, as evolution, as becoming? Sirs, please explore all this. Search out. Don’t let your brains become dull by knowledge. Life is both intellect, emotion, senses. But if you let thought dominate them all, as you do, then our life becomes fragmented, shallow, empty.

We ought to talk over together what is love. Would you say that you love somebody, love without attachment, love without jealousy? If there is attachment, there is no love. If there is any kind of antagonism, hate, love cannot exist. Where there is fear, love cannot exist. Where there is ambition, love cannot exist; where there is power of any kind, the other cannot be. If you have power over your wife or if you possess your husband or if you are ambitious, then love is not. We are asking, do you love, because without love, suffering will go on. We have to search out, seek out whether there is a possibility of ending sorrow, because all these are linked together. Sorrow is not different from fear. Sorrow is not different from thought. Sorrow is not different from hate, the wounds, the psychological wounds that we receive. They are all related to each other. It is one issue, not separate issues. It is something that you have to approach wholly, not partially. But if you approach it intellectually, ideally or idealistically, romantically, then you don’t see the wholeness of life. So we are searching out if there is a possibility of ending sorrow. Fear, pleasure and sorrow have existed from time beyond thought.

Man has always had these three factors in life – fear, the pursuit of pleasure and sorrow, and apparently he has not gone beyond that. He has tried every method, every system that you can think of, tried to suppress it, tried to escape from it, tried to invent the gods and surrender all this to that invention, but that has not worked either. So we must find out whether sorrow can end, whether we can understand the nature of sorrow, the causes of sorrow. Is the cause different from fear, is the cause different from pleasure, pleasure of achievement, pleasure of talent, pleasure of wealth? Let us find out whether sorrow and fear can ever end. The pursuit of pleasure is infinite, is endless, the pleasure of achievement, the pleasure of being attached to somebody, whether that attachment is to a person, to an idea or to a conclusion. While you are pursuing that pleasure, there is always the shadow of fear with it. Where there is fear, there is sorrow. But they are all together. They are all interrelated, and one must deal with them all wholly, not separately. Be clear that we are not dealing with sorrow separately as though it was something different from fear. We are looking, searching out the nature of sorrow and the ending of sorrow, because where there is sorrow, there is no love.

Sorrow expresses itself in so many ways – the sorrow of loneliness, the sorrow of seeing this vast country where there is poverty, corruption, utter disregard for another human being, carelessness. When you watch all this day after day, that is also sorrow, the utter neglect by all the politicians all over the world. They only want power, position, and where there is power, there is evil. And sorrow is the loss of someone you love. Sorrow of losing, sorrow of ending something you have cherished, something that you have held on to, the sorrow of doubt, the sorrow of seeing one’s own life such an empty shell, meaningless existence. You may have money, sex, children, be very fashionable, rich, but it is an empty life. There is no depth in it. Seeing that, perceiving the nature of it, is also sorrow. So can sorrow end? It is not your sorrow. It is also mine and another’s. Don’t deal with sorrow as your particular precious stuff. It is shared by all humanity. Deal with it not as your particular sorrow, your private quiet sorrow, but as the sorrow of all human beings, whether you are a man or a woman, rich or poor, sophisticated or at the height of your excellence. Please don’t deal with all these factors like fear, pleasure, sorrow, love, and so on as something separate from each other. You must approach this whole thing wholly, not fragmentarily. If you approach it fragmentarily, you will never solve it. So, look at greed, pain, sorrow, as a whole movement of life, not something different from life. This is our daily life. To find whether there is an end to all this – to misery, to conflict, pain, sorrow and fear – one must be able to perceive them, one must be able to be aware of them.

We must understand what is perception, how to look. Is the observer who looks at all this – the poverty, the loneliness, the anxiety, the uncertainty, the suffering – different from all that or is the observer all that? I will explain this. We have separated the ‘me’, who is the observer, from that which he is observing. I say I am suffering and I say to myself that suffering must end, and to end it, I must suppress it, I must escape from it, I must follow a certain system. So, I am different from fear, from pleasure, from pain, sorrow. Are you different from all that? Or you may think that there is something in you which is totally different from all that. If you think that, it is part of your thought, and therefore there is nothing sacred there. So, is the observer different from the observed? When you are angry, envious, brutal, violent, are you not all that? The meditator is the meditation. Please sir, think about it. The observer is the observed. See the importance of this. Before, we have divided the observer from the observed. That means there is a division between that and the other. So, there was conflict. You could then control it, suppress it, fight it, but if you are that, if you are sorrow, if you are fear, if you are pleasure, you are the conglomeration of all this. To realize that fact is a tremendous reality; therefore, there is no division, and therefore there is no conflict; the observer is the observed.

Then a totally different action takes place, a totally different chemical action takes place. It is not an intellectual achievement, not the intellectual concept of the truth but to see the fact, the truth of it, that you are not different from your qualities, you are not different from your anger, jealousy, hatred, but you are all that, You know what happens when you realize that, not verbally but inwardly? Find out. Are you waiting for me to tell you? I won’t. You see how your mind works. You are waiting for me to tell you; you don’t want to find out. If I tell you, then you will say yes, right or wrong, but you will go on, but find out for yourself the actual truth of it, that the observer is the observed, the watcher is the watched, that you are the whole bundle of your consciousness, the content of your consciousness is what you are and the content of that consciousness is put together by thought. Now, to find out, not the ending of thought, but to find out how to observe the content, when you observe without the division, then a totally different action takes place. Where there is love, there is no observer. There is no you and the one that you love. There is only that quality of love.