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Chapter 11 - The Nature of Despair and Sorrow - Discussion in Madras on 20 December 1976
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Sir, yesterday(1) you discussed sorrow. We all know despair and sorrow. Can we go to the root of despair?
Krishnamurti (K): Pupul Jayakar is asking: could we discuss, have a dialogue about, despair? We know what sorrow is, she says, and we know also the great depths of despair. Could we discuss that?
PJ: It is a very real thing in our lives. In a sense the root of sorrow is the root of despair; it must be of the same nature.
K: I wonder what is despair? I have never felt it, therefore please convey it to me. What do you mean by despair?
PJ: A sense of utter futility.
K: Is that it-a sense of utter futility? I doubt that. It is not quite that.
PJ: You don't know what to do.
K: Would you call that despair-not knowing what to do? That's rather confusion, isn't it?
Radha Burnier (RB): The total absence of meaning and significance-that is what you mean.
Questioner 1(Q1): I think the word may come from not having hope anymore.
Fritz Wilhelm (FW): I was going to suggest 'a state of paralysed hope'.
PJ: Despair, in a sense, has nothing to do with hope.
Questioner 2 (Q2): You don't know where to turn to.
K: I don't think that is despair. Tell me some more. Is it related to sorrow? Is it the end of self-pity? I am questioning, I am not stating.
(1) Public Talk in Madras on 19 December 1976
PJ: If it is self-pity, we narrow its dimensions.
K: We are investigating. Is sorrow related to despair and the sense of deep self-pity that can't find a way out?
PJ: I felt it narrows its dimensions.
K: It is narrow, but we will spread it, make it wider. So what is despair? Would you say it is the end of the road, reaching the end of the tether?
Q1: Could it be no further direction, the end of the tether?
K: No, that is not quite despair, is it? If there is no way around something, you look somewhere else, but that doesn't mean despair.
FW: I should imagine that the mother whose child is dead is desperate.
K: Not quite. I wouldn't call that 'desperate'. Let's see. Is it related to sorrow?
PJ: Don't we know despair?
K: I don't know. I am asking, tell me.
PJ: I can say I know despair.
FW: Could you describe it a little bit more?
K: I'd go into it because I don't know what it means to have despair. Sorry, I may be snooty.
PJ: I am telling you: despair is the utter and total sense of futility.
K: Futility, no, If I may suggest, instead of futility use a more significant word. End of hope, end of search, end of relationship.
PJ: To feel everything falling on your head.
K: Ah, I don't know. Does somebody else know despair?
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): Hitting against a blank wall.
K: That's not despair. No. 'Blank wall' is not despair.
Radhika Herzberger (RH): It's to be completely without a will, impulse, or feeling.
K: Is that despair to you?
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): The feeling that something has died in you before your body has died.
K: Died in you before the body has died-is that despair?
AP: Because it means discontinuity.
S. Balasundaram (SB): You asked, 'Has it any relationship to sorrow?' I think it is the bottom of sorrow, the pit of sorrow.
K: You mean to say you have never known despair? Haven't you ever experienced despair?
T.K. Parchure (TKP): It looks like the opposite of hope- hopelessness.
K: No, sir. Do you know what despair is? Could you tell me what it is?
TKP: A state resulting from failures.
K: Failure? No. You are making it much too small. I think despair is a rather large canvas. I have talked to people who are in despair, I have known people who have come to see me and so on; that is irrelevant. They are in despair-what does it mean? Apparently none of you knows despair. Do you know what despair is? Do you?
RB: No, I don't think I know.
K: That's what I want to question.
RB: I know what suffering is, but I don't know what despair is.
K: When we talk about despair, is it something profound, or is it merely the end of one's tether?
PJ: I'll say I know despair.
K: Now, tell me a little bit about it.
TKP: Is it a darkness?
K: No, sir. A man who is suffering knows exactly what it means; he doesn't beat about the bush. He says, 'I have suffered, I know my son is dead, and there is an appalling sense of isolation, loss, a sense of self-pity, a tremendous storm; it's a crisis.' Would you say despair is a crisis?
John Coats (JC): Yes, I think so.
K: Ah, no. I am questioning; don't please agree with me yet. Apparently, except for one or two, nobody seems to be in despair. [Laughter]
RB: Is it a form of escape from suffering?
K: I think we are catching it. I am dying; my son sees that he can't prevent it. And I don't pay any attention to my son. In despair, is jealousy involved?. Is it a sense of loss of possessiveness? I possess you, and I am not seeking somebody else, to be possessed or to possess. I possess you, and you suddenly drop, build a wall against it. Is that part of despair? I am just asking.
PJ: You don't think despair is valid?
K: I am not saying it is valid or not valid, I am just asking what is despair. What is the dictionary meaning?
FW: I think 'no hope'. The root of the word comes from hope.
K: I am not quite sure. We'll find out. Using the common word, which you and I use, do you know what it means? Is it a deep sense of fear?
JC: I would call that a deep sense of fear.
PJ: When you get to the depths of yourself, to the very...
K: ...root of yourself.
PJ: ...root of yourself, do you think it is possible to distinguish between fear and despair?
K: But why do you use the word despair? [Reads out from a dictionary] Desperer is French and desperare Latin. To be helpless, to have no hope. Sperare-to hope. All right, leave it.
PJ: I don't think it contains what I am trying to convey.
K: What is it that you are trying to convey?
PJ: I say that when you hit the bottom, then these divisions of fear, sorrow, and despair are very difficult to differentiate.
K: May I ask you-I am not talking about it personally- have you really reached the lowest depths of yourself? And when you do, is that despair?
PJ: When you ask that question, there can be no possible answer. How does one know what the depths of oneself is?
K: Is it the sense of hopelessness? It is much more than that.
PJ: It is much more because then you have hope-the other side.
K: Therefore it is something much more significant than hope. What is that feeling or what is that state where one feels completely, utterly in despair? Is it that no movement of any kind takes place and since there is no movement, would you call that despair?
PJ: How would you differentiate it from sorrow?
K: You see, I loved my son. I really loved my son, and he has gone to the dogs. And I can't do anything. I can't even talk to him, I can't even approach him, I can't get near him, touch him. Would that state be despair? I loved my son. He has gone to the devil, and I can't get near him, inside him, touch him, and I feel I want it desperately. Ah, it's despair! Etymologically, I think, it comes from hopeless. Would you call that a state of despair? I can't touch him, nobody can get near him because he is so lost. I think that is a sense of despair.
TKP: In despair there is a total giving up of feeling.
K: No, that is not it. Then if I give up I say, 'All right, let him go to the dogs, let him go to hell.' That's the end of it.
FW: On the contrary we usually say, 'I desperately want something.' There is a projection in it that I want something, as you said about the son.
PJ: In that there is an urgency towards a direction. There is no urgency towards any direction in this.
FW: Then probably the word despair is not the proper word.
SB: It is also the blocking of energy. It is not being desperate for something. Despair is that in which you touch the nadir, the bottom, of energy.
K: Would that be it?
PJ: You see, that is why I say that when you plunge as deep as this into any feeling, then there is no differentiation between sorrow, fear; all these become one in a sense, they are not separate. You cannot separate sorrow from despair. I don't think that the distinction at the deep roots is valid.
SP: Pupulji, when you started, you wanted to make a distinction between despair and sorrow.
PJ: As I am moving, I find that when you are really deep down in it, the distinction between despair and sorrow does not exist.
RB: So you are really asking: what is the root of sorrow?
PJ: All these things are the same.
K: Are you asking: what is the root of sorrow?
PJ: No. I find that it is not possible for me to divide sorrow from despair.
JC: It seems to me that despair is accompanied by a feeling of nothingness.
PJ: So is sorrow.
JC: I don't think so.
FW: I mean, the word comes from 'hope'.
PJ: Maybe. But when you are describing a state, the dictionary meaning may not fit it. It is not the word, it is the thing.
FW: Yes. But the root of the word has a significance.
PJ: It makes no meaning. A word may not cover a feeling. Sir, some people must have come to you in despair.
K: Yes. I am not Father Confessor.
PJ: No. But I am saying people must have come to you with the sorrow, the depth of suffering, of nothingness.
K: Are we saying that despair is related to sorrow, related to that sense of total abnegation of all relationship?
PJ: Yes, a total anguish.
K: Yes, a total anguish. Would you put it the other way?- the total feeling of complete isolation.
K: Which means having no access or relationship to anything. We are examining the feeling of it.
PJ: We know the feeling.
K: That's what I am questioning. Is it related to sorrow, related to isolation, a sense of complete void and the feeling of no outlet? Is that it?
JC: There is a finality to it; it is the end of all your hope, of all your expectation, or something of that kind.
K: Has one reached that? Have you-not you personally- but has anyone reached that point? The darkness of the soul, the Christians call it.
FW: The dark night of the soul.
K: The dark night of the soul. Would you call it that? Is that despair? Ah, that is much more potent than despair.
PJ: You can't tell me that I am at this level or this level or this level.
K: Ah, of course not.
PJ: What meaning has it?
K: May we begin this way? Let's first use the word sorrow, the depth of that word, the meaning of that word. Begin with that. We all know it, everybody knows that, right?
PJ: In varying degrees.
K: In varying degrees, greater, lesser, but we know what that means: grief, a sense of hopelessness, a sense of no-way-outever. Does that bring about despair?
PJ: That is despair.
K: I wouldn't call it despair.
PJ: Why, sir?
K: Let's go slowly, let's feel it out. My son is dead, and there is what I call sorrow. I have lost him, I will never see him again. I've lived with him, we have played together. Everything is gone, and suddenly, overnight, I realize how utterly lonely I am. There is the feeling of a deep sense of loneliness. I don't mean not having a companion-all that's trivial stuff-but the deep awareness of a total lack of any kind of relationship with anybody, which is loneliness. Would you say it is that?
PJ: It is that.
K: So, is that loneliness despair?
PJ: See, sir, you use a word to fit a situation, you use a word to describe a situation.
K: I have described the situation.
PJ: No. You can use...
K: ...ten different words, but doesn't matter.
PJ: You can use the word sorrow.
PJ: Or you can use despair.
PJ: But the situation remains the same.
K: All right. So how to get out of it-you mean? What to do with it?
PJ: No. You spoke about remaining totally with sorrow. You said in your talk yesterday(2) that in the depth of sorrow is the summation of all energy.
(2) Public Talk in Madras on 19 December 1976
PJ: Now, this must also be of the same nature.
K: Yes. I understand now what you are saying, I see what you mean. Last night K said sorrow is the quintessence of all energy, the essence of all energy. Quintessence-all energy is focussed there. I think that's right. Agreed?
PJ: You said it yourself.
K: I said it. Is that a fact? Is that an actuality or an idea?
PJ: This morning I suddenly had a feeling of what I call despair. Now see this, sir. I suddenly had it totally, absolutely, and now whatever question I ask, whatever statement I make will move me away from it.
K: I think I am getting it. Look, my son is dead, and I realize what is involved in that death, the loss, and so on. I won't go into all that; it is too obvious. And that is a fact which can never be altered, a fact which is unalterable by me, however much I dislike it. The refusal to accept the actual fact-is that despair? I accept, I totally, completely accept that my son is dead. I can't do a thing about it. Gone! I remain with the fact. I don't call it despair or sorrow, I don't give it a name. I remain with the actual fact that he is finished. Would you call that despair? Or you wouldn't use any word?
JC: Is this despair an attempt to move away from an unalterable fact?
K: This is an unalterable fact. Can you remain with that fact without any movement away from it?
PJ: Is the sorrow or the despair also not an unalterable fact?
K: I question whether that is not alterable. My son's dying is unalterable: he is gone, burnt up.
PJ: Sorrow is also unalterable.
K: No, no, no. Let's look at it slowly, carefully. I loved my son. (I am using the word love in the way I am using it.) I loved my son and suddenly he is gone. The result is that there is a tremendous sense of energy which I've translated as sorrow. I've used sorrow to indicate this fact of everything suddenly having no meaning anymore. Only that fact remains. That is not despair.
PJ: You used the word despair; I am dealing with the sense of it.
K: All right, let's move away from that. I want to see what actually takes place when there is this enormous crisis, and the mind realizes that any form of escape is futile, and remains with that fact without any movement. The fact is immovable. Can I, can the mind, remain with that immovable fact and not move away from it? Let's make it very, very simple. I am angry, furious, because I have given my life to something, and I find somebody betraying that, and I feel furious. That fury is all energy. I haven't acted upon that energy. It is again gathering all your energy, which is expressed in a fury of anger. Now, can I remain with that fury of anger? Not translate it, not hit out, not rationalize, just hold it-is it possible? What happens then? That's not despair; I won't even call it despair. There is this sense of anger. I think Achyutji understands this.
AP: Yes, sir.
K: Because the other day it happened. Wait, don't explain it. Could you remain with it? Not say, 'I am so sorry I have no compassion, I am so sorry this has happened.' Then what would happen?
AP: I have tried to stay with it also.
AP: Could you say it is a state of depression?
K: Ah no, no. That is a reaction. I remain with it, it is going to tell me. I am not going to call it depression; that means I am acting upon it.
AP: I am saying the depression is like an infection and a fever. The fever is the symptom of that infection. In that way I have watched myself with the anger without trying to do anything to it.
K: No, I don't mean you have watched it. I am that anger.
AP: Yes, I am that.
K: I am that total fury and the total energy of that fury.
AP: There is not energy, there is an action. What goes with it is a feeling of total helplessness.
K: No. I think I understand what Pupulji is talking about, which is: I have come to realize that I am caught in a net of my own making, and I can't move, I'm paralysed. Would that be despair?
JC: Let's take a picture. If a woman who can't swim is by the seashore and her son is drowning, she knows that he can be saved, but she cannot do it herself. That, I think, creates a feeling of absolute despair.
FW: Is there an element of self-anger in that?
K: I think we are getting away from something. We are now describing in different ways the meaning of despair, the meaning of sorrow, the meaning of all that.
AP: The condition that you described is different. The difference is that anger is the reaction to somebody else's behaviour. This is a reaction to your own situation, and in that despair is more authentic than in this.
K: Yes. It is not a reaction but an awareness of one's own insufficiency, and that insufficiency at its depth, not superficially, is despair. Is that it?
FW: Isn't there much more than just this awareness? I question whether there is an awareness of this insufficiency, because there is already the element of not wanting to accept that insufficiency.
PJ: How do you know?
SP: If there is no awareness, there is no insufficiency.
PJ: Either you feel it or you don't feel it. It is not a thing which I can explain.
K: Look, Fritz, if I may ask, have you ever felt totally insufficient?
FW: I can't remember. I don't know.
K: But I come to you and say, 'I have felt this total insufficiency; help me or, rather, I want to understand it, it is boiling in me.' I am in a desperate state about it. How would you tackle it? How would you help me to go beyond it?
FW: I know something which may be quite similar to that. I see that I am unable to understand most of the things in life, and I also see that my brain is completely insufficient to understand. I am aware of that insufficiency.
K: No, I don't mean that. I see those slum children next door; I can't do anything. The other day after the talk as I went along a boy said, 'Give me something.' I said, 'I have nothing, take my handkerchief', and he took my handkerchief.
FW: That is not that feeling.
K: No, that's not insufficiency. I realize I am insufficient, I am aware of it. Then I try to fill it with various things. I know I am filling it, and I see that as I fill it, it is still empty; there is still insufficiency. I have come to that point where I see that whatever I do, that insufficiency can never be wiped out, filled. That is real sorrow or despair, a sense of 'My God.' Is that it, Pupulji?
PJ: There are only certain states which leave you wordless.
K: Yes. Look, I want to get at something. My son is dead. I am not only desperate, but I am in profound shock, profound sense of loss, which I call sorrow-for the moment let's use that word. My instinctual response is to run away, to explain, to act upon it. Now I realize the futility of that and I don't act. I won't call it sorrow, I won't call it despair, I won't call it anger, but I see that the fact is the only thing, nothing else. Everything else is non-fact. Now, what takes place then? That's what I want to get at. If you say that's despair, I'll use that word. If you remain without naming it and therefore recognizing it and all the rest of it, remain completely without any movement of thought, remain with it totally, what takes place? That would be worthwhile to discuss.
RB: It is very difficult because thought says, 'Remain with it', and that is still thought.
K: Ah, no. Then that's all a game, an intellectual game. That is totally invalid.
RB: Yes, of course.
K: You know it's really quite interesting. Put it in different ways-anger, fury. I am married; my wife is damn stupid. I like her, but she is so... That is a great responsibility in which I feel utter despair. It is the same thing, isn't it? It is the same thing where I meet an immovable fact, and I come to it with a desperate desire to move it, for whatever reason, whatever motive-love, affection, kindliness. I battle against it, but the fact cannot be changed. She is what she is, or I am what I am. Can I face that fact without any sense of hope, despair, all that verbal structure, and just say, 'Yes, she is stupid, and I can't do anything with her'? I think some kind of explosive action takes place then if I can remain there.
AP: There is some purgation called for before this happens.
K: I wouldn't use purgation.
AP: Some purgation of the heart, I say, is called for.
K: I don't call it purgation. I won't.
AP: Call it anything, sir.
K: You see, Achyutji, you know what sorrow is?
K: Don't you?
K: You know what it is. Can you remain with it without any movement? And what takes place when there is no movement? Ah, I am getting it. When my son is dead, that is an immovable, irrevocable fact. And when I remain with it, which is also an immovable, irreconcilable fact, two facts meet.
PJ: Can the profundity of sorrow or despair arise without a seemingly known cause?
K: Yes, I understand that very well. Go on.
PJ: There is nothing to react to, no incident to react to.
K: Yes. No analytical process is possible. I understand.
PJ: No analytical process is possible. In a sense, thought is paralysed there.
K: Yes, that's it. That's what I want to get at. The irrevocable fact, the immovable fact that my son is dead. And also I haven't escaped, which is also another fact. So what takes place?
PJ: As I said, thought is still, not because of any volition.
K: I understand, I understand.
PJ: Now, what is there to say after that?
K: That's what I want to find out. Something must happen.
JC: Is there a law we are unaware of which will not allow two facts?
K: I am questioning whether there are two facts or only one fact. The fact is that my son is dead. And the fact that I mustn't move away from it-that is not a fact; that is an idea, and therefore it is not a fact. There is only one fact, right? My son is dead. That is an absolute, immovable fact, an actuality. And I say to myself that I must not escape, that I must meet it completely. I say that is a fact. I question if it is a fact. It is an idea, it is not a fact. It is not a fact like my son is dead, gone. There is only one fact. When you separate the fact from yourself and say, 'I must meet it with all my attention', that is a non-fact. The fact is the other.
SP: But my movement is a fact, isn't it?
K: Is that a fact or an idea?
SP: Not wanting to stay there, but moving away from the energy of anger or the energy of hurt-isn't that a fact?
K: Yes, of course. Remember we discussed it the other day: an abstraction can be a fact. I believe I am Jesus, that is a fact, as the fact that I am a good man; both are facts. Both are brought about by thought; that's all. Sorrow is brought about not by thought, but by an actuality which I have translated into sorrow.
SP: Sorrow is not brought about by thought?
K: Is it? Go into it slowly. As I said, this is a dialogue, a discussion. If I say something, you must tear it up.
RB: When my son dies, that is not brought about by thought.
K: No, that's a fact.
RB: That's a fact.
SP: So there are two different types of sorrow.
K: No! My son is dead, that's a fact. And that fact reveals the nature of my relationship to him, my commitment to him, my attachment to him, my desire, etc., etc., which are all non-facts.
PJ: That comes at the second stage. When my son dies...
K: ...there is only one thing. That's all I am saying. My son is dead, and I am in sorrow. I am in sorrow, that's a fact. I weep, that's a fact. I have tears in my eyes, that's a fact.
FW: Then I go away from the fact if I try to explore my relationship, which no longer exists.
PJ: Actually if your son is dead, at that moment can the mind move away?
K: No, for the moment it is paralysed.
K: Totally paralysed.
PJ: That is the moment, sir.
K: No, no. My son is dead, and I am paralysed by it; both psychologically and physiologically I am in a state of shock. That shock wears off.
PJ: In a sense, the intensity of that state has already dissipated itself.
K: No. The shock is not a realization of the fact. It is a physical shock. Somebody has hit me on the head.
PJ: There is a shock.
K: That's all. Paralysis has taken place, for a few days, a few hours, a few minutes. When a shock takes place, my consciousness is not functioning; it is paralysed.
PJ: Something is functioning.
K: No. Just tears and nothing else. It is paralysed.
PJ: One calls it tears.
K: That's one state, but it is not a permanent state. It is a transient state out of which I am going to come out.
PJ: Yes. But the moment I start coming out and moving...
K: ...the shock has gone. Then I face the reality.
PJ: Sir, how do you face the reality? I want to ask you.
K: My brother or sister dies, and at that moment-that moment may last a few days-it is a tremendous psychosomatic shock. There is no activity of the mind, no activity of consciousness; it is like being paralysed.
PJ: It is sorrow, the energy of sorrow.
K: It has been too much for me. Ah, that is it. That energy has been much too strong.
PJ: You've said something-that energy has been much too strong.
K: That's it.
PJ: Any movement away dissipates that energy.
K: But the body cannot remain psychosomatically in a state of shock.
PJ: Then how does it face sorrow?
K: I am coming to that. It is like a man who is paralysed and I ask him to speak; he can't.
K: When that shock is gone, a day, a week, a month, whatever it is, what takes place? That's what I am coming to. What takes place when the shock goes? You are waking up to the fact-that your son is dead. Fact! Thought then begins, the whole movement of thought begins.
FW: Do you not wake up to the idea rather than to the thought that your son is dead?
K: No, no, no. My brother is dead, and it is a tremendous shock to me. I faint, I cry, the whole psychosomatic movement is paralysed. Don't you know this?
Mrs Coats (MC): Shock is a kind of anaesthetic.
K: Yes, an anaesthetic given to me by that event. I come out of that; physiologically as well as psychologically I come out of it. Then I realize there is sorrow. I cry. At the moment I don't cry; it is too much. Later I begin to cry, my body reacts, the whole thing becomes intolerable.
MC: You want to face it.
K: I have not come to that. Then what takes place? When you are out of the shock, you realize that he is gone. You shed tears, saying 'I wish I had behaved properly, I wish I had not said those last cruel words at the last minute', and all the rest of it. Then you begin to escape from that: 'I like to meet my brother in the astral plane or in the next life', or something or the other. I am saying that if you don't escape and don't observe the fact as though it is different from yourself-the observer is the observed. Sorry to go back to that slogan.
PJ: The core of the whole thing is that initial state of shock.
K: I question it.
PJ: Yes, sir.
K: You go into it a little bit more. It is a shock which the body and the psyche cannot tolerate, and a paralysis has taken place.
PJ: But there is energy, it is there.
K: It's too strong, it's much too strong.
PJ: But observation of energy is possible only there.
K: No. As Mrs Coats said, somebody has given me anaesthesia. This is a fact.
PJ: It is at the instant of death that there is a total realization of this. It then gets dissipated.
K: No. Would you put it this way? Don't let us talk about death for the moment. A magnificent scenery in front of you is so tremendous that it leaves you blank. Right? That is a kind of paralysis-'kind' in quotes.
PJ: But that is also the total thing.
K: Wait. The paralysis there is the marvellous view that has driven you out, and we said that the state of mind when you are not is beauty. When there is death, the tremendous shock drives out everything. It is not the same as with the mountain, that marvellous scenery. These two are entirely different.
PJ: It depends on the state of mind.
K: Of course, it depends on the state of relationship...
PJ: ...and of the state of mind when death actually takes place.
K: And the state of mind of the brother. So what are we discussing? What are we having a dialogue about?
PJ: We are trying to discover what, at this maximum energy quotient of despair or death or sorrow, is the chemical alchemy which transforms this energy, which is seemingly destructive and hurtful, into what you call passion. If you allow sorrow or despair to erode you, corrode you...
K: That's just it.
AP: That's what I called purgation.
K: Doesn't matter, sir.
PJ: If you allow it to do that, which is a natural process...
K: Yes, it is a natural process.
PJ: And you have brought in another element. You say there is an alchemy which transforms.
K: When energy is not dissipated through words, when that energy of the shock of some great event, when that energy without a motive is not dissipated, it has quite a different significance.
PJ: This holding it in consciousness...
K: It is not in consciousness.
PJ: But the holding of it-you have said it.
K: I have said it. Hold it in the sense don't move away from it.
PJ: It is not in consciousness?
K: No, it is not in consciousness. Jesus! If you hold it in your consciousness, it is part of thought. Your consciousness is put together by thought.
SP: It has arisen in consciousness.
K: No, no. You haven't understood.
SP: Then what is it?
K: Hold it, don't run away from it, remain with it.
PJ: What is the entity that does not move?
K: There is no entity.
PJ: Then what is it that...
K: The entity is when there is a movement away from the fact.
PJ: How does this entity end itself? This is very important.
K: I agree, I agree. This is very interesting. There is a shock and, out of the shock, sorrow. The very word sorrow is a distraction. The escapes are a distraction, away from the fact. Now, to remain totally with that fact, which means no interference of the movement of thought; therefore you are now not consciously holding it.
FW: You are saying there is a perception.
K: Ah, no. I will repeat it. Consciousness is put together by thought. (We have discussed this ad nauseum.) The content makes thought. That event, the event of my son's death is not thought, but when I bring it into thought it is still within that consciousness. So to remain, to hold, is not to bring it into consciousness. Of course! That is very important. I have discovered something.
PJ: Is it the very force of that energy which totally silences thought?
K: Yes. Put it that way, any way you like. Thought cannot touch it, but our conditioning, our tradition, our education is to touch it, change it, modify it, rationalize it, run away from it, which is the activity of consciousness. I'll stick to it. I've got it. It is very interesting. I can't remember when my brother died. But from what others have told me, there was a shock period. When he [K] came out of it, he remained with that thing; he did not go to Dr Besant, or ask for help. Reincarnation-nothing; he just remained. So now I can see how it happened. I am now talking generally. When the shock is over, you come to the fact that a tremendous event has taken place. Death-not mine or yours-has taken place, which is an extraordinary event. Death is an extraordinary event like birth. And to look at it, observe it, without consciousness as thought entering into it. That's right, I've got the thing. Can you do it?
FW: If you don't do it, you go into unconscious conditioning.
K: Yes. If you don't do it, you begin all the business.
FW: I was looking at the access of energy generated by a fact; whether the fact is a mountain or the death of my brother, it is the same energy. But in one case the response to it is, shall we say, adequate. In the other case I call the response sorrow.
K: Be careful, be careful. Both are outside events. The mountain is a shock, and death is a shock. The one- the mountain-has driven me out; therefore there is no consciousness: I am not there when the mountain is there. The other is a similar thing: the shock has driven consciousness out.
Q1: Has it done that in both cases-driven consciousness out?
K: Both cases.
SP: The sense of the 'me' is absent in both cases.
Q1: When do you know this is going too far?
K: I'm coming to that. There is a crisis when it is my brother. The mountain is not my brother; I can play with that. Here it is directly connected with me. The connection is me and sorrow. But both produce the same state of shock. Very interesting.
PJ: You said sorrow is not born of thought. I would like to go into it.
K: Yes. Sorrow is not born of thought. Wait. He [K] must have meant something. So I must find out whether he meant something right or wrong. Sorrow is not born of thought-is that it? What do you say about it?
PJ: I say yes.
K: You agree?
PJ: Because when sorrow is, thought is not. When the depth of sorrow is, thought is not.
K: Go slowly. Sorrow is not the child of thought. That's what you are saying, that's what he said. Why? The word sorrow is thought. The word is not the thing, therefore that feeling of sorrow is not the word. When the word is used, it becomes thought, that feeling, that state.
Questioner 4 (Q4): The state of sorrow is post-shock, prethought. We are talking about the situation where there has been a shock. The access of that energy, the return to consciousness is the sorrow.
K: I have named it as sorrow.
Q4: Not yet. There is a return to the state of sorrow.
K: No. There is shock, then there is the moving away from that shock. Got it?
Q4: Got it.
K: The word is not the thing. If the word is not, thought is not. Listen, I'm getting something. Very interesting.
PJ: You're right, but I am using the word sorrow. You can throw out the word, but I am using it. There are so many emotions.
K: So keep to that one word.
PJ: Sorrow is one thing which even if you remove the word...
K: ...is there. Of course, of course. So is it possible not to name it? The moment you name it, you bring it into consciousness.
SP: Prior to naming, is the condition not part of consciousness?
K: What do you mean by prior?
SP: Before the naming takes place, is what is part of consciousness or not? The moment you name it as sorrow, that has a different feel.
K: I must be clear we understand each other. We said consciousness is its content. Its contents are put together by thought. The whole of consciousness, the hidden, all that is put together by thought. An incident takes place whose energy, shock, drives out consciousness for a second or for days or months or whatever it is. Then as that thing, the incident, wears off, you begin to name it. Then you bring that thing into consciousness. But that thing is not in consciousness when it takes place.
FW: That thing when you don't name it-what is it?
K: When you don't name it, what is it? It is total energy.
FW: Then why do we call it sorrow?
K: Because I'm used to calling it sorrow.
SP: Because consciousness is with sorrow.
K: Of course.
FW: But when I name that energy as sorrow, I mean something by it, then it is thought.
K: No, no.
PJ: There is surely a difference. By just using a word sorrow, without the implications...
K: That's just it. All the strings attached to it.
PJ: What I am saying is this: sorrow has, in essence, the quality of love.
PJ: You use passion.
K: The word itself is...
PJ: Remove the word. It is still there. The word does not create it.
K: The word sorrow has its root in passion.
PJ: The word does not create it.
K: No, but let's be careful. Fear.
PJ: Fear is a different thing.
K: Wait. Has the word fear caused fear? Is there a fear without the word? Then if it is not, if there is no word, what is there?
RB: But sorrow, fear, anger, it is all the 'me', isn't it? And the 'me' is thought.
K: Of course. You know what death is. You've had a shock, haven't you?
K: What happened in that shock? Nothing.
K: When you came out of it, what happened?
RB: There is the naming.
K: No. What actually happened? Don't start naming it. What actually happened? It is simple. You know what actually happened: you cry, you have a sense of loss, you have a sense of something cut off; the friendship, the companionship, etc., all that is blocked.
K: The blocking, the feeling, all that you call sorrow.
K: Now, can you look at it without the word? The moment you use the word, you have brought it into your own familiar field.