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Chapter 12 - Ending the Registration of Hurt and Fear - Discussion in Madras on 13 December 1976
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Krishnaji, in your talk yesterday(1) you said something about holding the quality of anger, fear, or any of the strong emotions, without the word in consciousness. Can we probe into that? Because this wiping away-whether it is of hurt, whether it is of fear, or of anger, or of any of the darkness in one-is possible only if what you are talking about takes place. Now, can we come to the quality of this and see whether this is at all possible, see whether that passion or strength of feeling which goes behind all these words such as fear, anger can be held in consciousness without the word? Can we investigate that?
Krishnamurti (K): Have you understood her question? She is asking-please correct me if I am wrong-'What does it mean to hold a feeling, anger, whatever it is, without the word? What is the state of mind or the quality of mind that can be without any movement other than the movement of what is, without the word?' Is that it?
PJ: Yes. And is there anything without the word?
Fritz Wilhelm (FW): Is there fear when there is not the word fear? You raised that question yesterday. What is that energy in the body, or the sensing in the body or in the whole being, at that moment when there is no naming of it?
K: Yes, that's what she is asking.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): Clarity for us means naming, given the way our brains work, because we like to know precisely what we are feeling; we don't want any self- deception. And when we want to probe into a feeling, a strong feeling, a disturbance, we invariably name it before we are able to grasp it completely. So naming is both our instrument of clarity and the cause of confusion.
(1) Public Talk in Madras on 12 December 1976
K: Sir, may we begin slowly? Is the word different from the fact, from what is? Is the word door different from the door? There is the door. I indicate by the word door not the actuality. So the word is not the thing.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): The question arises then: can you ever indicate the actuality?
K: We are going to find out slowly.
Radha Burnier (RB): Is there a difference between 'The word door is not the door', and 'Is the word fear, fear?' The two things seem to be different.
K: Let's go slowly into this, if you don't mind. The word door is not the actuality. The name K is not the actuality. The form is not the actuality. So the word is not the thing. The word door-the word-is different from the actuality. What are we trying to get at? We are trying to find out if the word fear is different from the actuality. That is one point. Does the word represent the actuality, and without the word is there the actuality?
SP: That is the question.
K: That is the question, isn't it?
SP: What is the feeling of fear without the word?
K: I want to make this perfectly clear to myself. There is the word fear. Is that word different from the actuality, which is that emotion, that feeling? And without the word, is there that feeling? So let's stick to that for the moment. Right?
RB: The word is the thought. Word is thought.
K: Word is thought. Word, symbol, picture...
K: Yes, image.
RB: It's all the same thing.
K: So the word is the medium through which thought expresses itself. Without the word, can thought express itself? Of course it can. A gesture, a look, a nod of the head, and so on. So without the word thought can express to a very, very limited extent. When you want to express something very complicated in thought, the word is necessary. But the word is not the actual thought, the actual state, the actual whatever you call it. I may use the words I love you; the feeling of that is not the word, but the feeling has been expressed through the word. But the word has such an enormous significance for most of us that we lose the deeper depth of it.
AP: I raise one difficulty. We perceive with the senses. That ends when there is naming. That starts the tertiary process-with the naming, a number of complicated things begin in my brain. Now, I see this and say I wish I could wipe out the word. Then I wipe out the name. When I have wiped out the name, I have not wiped out the feeling.
K: I am not quite sure.
AP: I have discovered that by not naming you don't get rid of your confusion, and confusion increases.
K: Don't let's use the word confusion; we haven't come to that yet.
AP: All right.
K: We are sticking to the word fear. Pupulji is asking: 'What is the state of the mind or the quality of the mind without the word; when the word is not the thing, and when the word has not aroused the feeling, what is the quality of mind that can hold that feeling without any movement?' Right? That's what you are trying to say.
RB: But we are questioning whether the feeling does arise without the word.
K: That's all.
PJ: If I may say so, there are many things in consciousness which arise prior to the word.
RB: Primordial fear. But can it be sustained without the word?
PJ: I am not talking about sustaining. There are various things, for instance, tenderness, or joy.
K: Can you observe something without the word? Can you observe me, the form, the name, for the moment, without the word?
K: You can, can't you? Then you are observing only the form. You have removed the word K, and you are observing the form.
PJ: You are observing. I won't say you are observing the form.
K: Then what are you observing?
PJ: The moment you say, 'I am observing the form', there has to be naming.
K: No, no, no.
PJ: Please listen, sir. When I say there is just 'observing', then the form is part of this whole observing movement. I am observing not only you; I am observing.
K: No. I asked, can you remove the word K? That is all. Of course you are observing the form.
PJ: Yes, I am observing the form.
K: What are we trying to get at? Let's get at this simply. I am afraid, there is fear. First of all, I want to find out if the word has created the fear. Has the word created the fear? The word is the recognition of that thing which I have called fear, because that fear has gone on for many years, and I have recognized it through the word. Ten years ago I was afraid. That fear is registered in my brain with the word. With the word is associated that fear. It occurs again today, and immediately the recognizing process sets in, which is the word and so on. So the word gives me a feeling that I have had it before. So the word has encouraged the feeling, stabilized the feeling.
PJ: Sustains the feeling.
K: It holds it. The word holds the thing by recognizing it, by remembering it, and so on. Now I am asking whether without the word, which is a process of recognition, there can be fear. Watch it, look at it. You are afraid; how do you know you are afraid?
FW: By naming it.
K: No. How do you know it?
FW: I have been afraid before, so I know that feeling. So now if something comes again, I recognize it.
K: If you don't recognize it, which is a verbal process, what is the state?
FW: There is certainly no fear.
K: Wait, sir, don't be too quick.
FW: There is energy in the body.
K: No, no. Don't use the word energy because we will go off into something else. I have fear, I have recognized it by naming it. In naming it I have put it into a certain category, and the brain remembers it, registers it, holds it. If there is no recognition-the verbal movement, all the rest of it- would there be fear?
PJ: There is a disturbance.
K: I am using the word fear. Stick to fear. The meaning of the word fear-is what?
PJ: If I may say so, fear is not such a simple thing that you can say that if there is no naming of it, it is not.
K: I don't say that yet. Of course, of course, there are a lot of complex things involved in it.
PJ: It is a tremendous thing.
K: A tremendous lot is involved.
Radhika Herzberger (RH): There are physiological feelings too.
SP: That's what I am saying: something happens first physiologically even before naming takes place.
FW: But it may also be the other way round: the word fear creates the physiological change.
PJ: That is one way, that is one form of fear, but there are profoundly deeper fears.
SP: If we accept only this position that the word creates fear, that means there is no content to fear at all.
K: I don't say that, I am asking. There is a process of recognition. If that process of recognition doesn't exist-if it is at all possible-then what is fear? I am not saying it doesn't exist; I am asking a question. If there is no process of registration, recording, which is memory in operation, what is the thing called fear?
FW: It is a movement.
PJ: I may use a number of other words.
K: But it is still the same.
PJ: I may say 'darkness'.
K: Yes. Which is again a recognition.
PJ: So, that is why I say you remove the word fear and ask, what remains? Any word I use is going to apply exactly as much as the word fear.
K: No, I am attacking it quite differently.
SP: Do you make a distinction between recording and naming?
K: Both are the same.
SP: What does it mean?
K: You insult me; because I have an image, you hurt me and so on. You insult me, and there is an immediate registration. I am asking: when you insult me, can that registration come to an end, can you not record it at all?
SP: I don't understand this. That is a totally different process.
K: It is exactly the same thing.
SP: How, sir?
K: I'll show it to you. Fear arises because I will be exposed to you-the things which I have done. I am afraid of the past. The past is registered, and that incident in the past awakens the sense of fear. That fear has been registered. Now I am asking: 'Though the past registration has taken place, is it possible to observe the new feeling, whatever it is, without bringing the past into action, and not register it at all?'
RH: There is a feeling of recognition before you actually call the feeling 'fear'.
K: Let's go slowly. I've got it. I insult you; what takes place? You register it, don't you?
RH: I recognize it.
K: You recognize it, register it. I call you a fool, and it is immediately registered. Then that registration operates all the time. Now, can you stop registering when you are called a fool? And though it is registered if you cannot stop it, when there is a new insult, can you not register it at all? There are two processes, aren't they? First you register. Then I am say, 'Stop; though it is registered, don't let that come into action when I call you a fool another time.' Do you see the difference?
RH: But when I register it, when I recognize it initially, that itself creates the momentum.
K: Therefore stop that momentum. Can that momentum be stopped? Let's put it much more simply. You are hurt, aren't you? Be simple, let's be simple. You are hurt from childhood for various reasons, and that has been deeply registered in the brain. The instinctive reaction is not to be hurt anymore. So you build a wall, withdraw. Without building the wall, know that you are hurt, be aware of it, and the next time a process of hurt begins, do not register it. What is the problem?
FW: What do you mean by registering?
K: Registering in the sense the tape recorder is registering. My brain is a tape recorder; it is registering all the time- like and dislike, pleasure, pain; it is moving, moving, moving all the time. I say something ugly to you, and the brain immediately takes charge, registers it. Now I say, 'Can you stop that registration? Though it has registered, stop it, and the next time when there is an insult, do not register it at all.' First see the question. Is the question clear?
Questioner 1 (Q1): But it means not to give an image to the word right away.
K: No, no. Just don't introduce the image for the moment. That becomes a little more complex.
Questioner 2 (Q2): Isn't that possible only if the ego doesn't exist?
K: Don't complicate it. The brain is registering; can that registration ever stop?
Questioner 3 (Q3): Does not that need much attention?
K: Find out.
FW: May we clarify what actually we mean by registration? Because when you call me a fool, I recognize the word fool.
K: And the image you have about yourself is hurt.
FW: You see, that is the difference. I still recognize the word fool.
K: But not register it.
FW: It is not registered?
K: That's all.
FW: Its implications are not registered.
K: Yes. You recognize the word, but do not register it. I want to keep it very, very simple; then I think we will get it.
FW: Will I then know, after half an hour, that you called me a fool half an hour ago?
K: Wait, first get at this. Our brain is registering all the time. You call me a fool; it is registered for various reasons, because I have an image and so on. That's a fact. The next question is: can that registration stop? Otherwise the brain is all the time registering, registering; it has no sense of freedom.
PJ: But the brain is a live thing.
PJ: It has to register.
K: I know it has to register.
PJ: What she said is correct: the registration is one thing, but the cutting off of the momentum which moves from the registration...
K: That is what I am talking about.
SP: Aren't you saying two things-one, stopping of the momentum and the other, the stopping of the registration altogether?
K: First get what I am talking about. Then you can question, make it clear.
PJ: When you say, 'Do not register', does that mean the brain cells come to a standstill at that end?
K: No, Pupul, this is very important because if there is no possibility of not-registering, then the brain becomes mechanical. Right?
RH: It goes on and on, reacting.
K: It's like that.
AP: Since you are taking fear, it oversimplifies the matter because actually our state of receiving anything is without our knowing there is either a preference or an aversion, and fear is in that cycle. Now, this is something which is from the past, so it is not directly related to what I perceive, but it is that which perceives. So I ask you whether that which perceives fear has something to do with this whole process of recognition.
K: This is really a tremendous question. As long as the brain is registering all the time, which it is now, it is moving from knowledge to knowledge, and so it becomes very, very limited. Because knowledge is limited, fragmentary and so on, the brain becomes very, very limited. I am asking myself whether that registration can stop. That's all, nothing else.
Ghaneshyam Mehta (GM): Can the brain answer that question?
K: I think it can, in the sense the brain can become aware of its own registering process. You call me a fool, and it goes on. Or somebody says, 'What a marvellous chap you are', and it is registering. Both are the same-whether you call me a fool or flatter me; there is the registration process going on. Can that be stopped?
PJ: Sir, I want to say something. There are certain fears which you can deal with that way. But fear is the cry of man...
K: ...for millennia. I know.
PJ: And you are that cry.
K: I know. That's it. That cry of the millennia is fear. I say that is our conditioning, that is the process of registration, that is what has been going on for millennia-century after century of registration of fear. And I am saying, 'Please, just stop a minute, find out if there is an ending to registration.' I am not saying it is possible or not; find out.
FW: When you tell me, 'Tomorrow we meet at 9.30', I register it.
K: Of course.
FW: I have to register it.
K: Of course.
FW: When you say, 'You are a fool', then something must happen. I must see the danger of, ward off, the registration. There must be an awareness that tells me...
K: Sir, forget all that. You see this question. (I am not saying 'the answer'.) The brain has been registering for millennia; therefore it has become mechanical. I ask, 'Can that mechanical process stop?' That's all. If it cannot be stopped, it becomes merely a machine-which it has. It is part of the tradition, part of repetition, part of the saying 'I am afraid', all that; it is this constant registration through millennia. I am asking a simple question which has great depth to it, which is: can it stop? If it cannot, man is never free.
T. K. Parchure (TKP): Why does the brain register at all?
K: For safety, security, protection, certainty; the registration is to give the brain a certain sense of security.
PJ: Isn't that the brain builds itself on, the brain evolves...
K: Of course. It evolves through time. This brain is different from that of the great, great, great ape. It is certainly different.
PJ: It has evolved through registration.
K: It has evolved through knowledge, which is registration. It has evolved through knowledge up to this point, and now it says, 'I recognize.'
PJ: What is that which from within itself says, 'Stop'?
K: Somebody challenges me.
PJ: What is the factor which makes it say, 'Stop'?
K: You come along and say: 'Look, through millennia the brain has evolved through knowledge, and at present you are certainly different from your great, great ape. As long as you are functioning that way, you are living a fragmentary life because knowledge is fragmentary. And whatever you do from that fragmentary state of the brain is incomplete. Therefore pain, suffering, all the rest of it.' So I ask, at the end of that explanation: can that registration, that movement of the past, end? I will make it much more simple: can this movement of millennia stop?
TKP: The process of registration starts because of the feeling of insecurity.
K: Security, essential security.
TKP: If I ask the question, 'Can this process stop?, that again gives me the same feeling of insecurity.
K: No, no.
PJ: Now I ask you: is there something in the very quality of listening...
K: Yes, there it is. That's it, that's it.
PJ: ...which hearing only, ends, and gives silence to the brain cells?
K: That's it, that's my point. You have come into my life by chance, and you have pointed out to me that my brain has evolved through registration, through knowledge, through experience, and that knowledge, however much you may have, that experience, is fundamentally limited. And whatever action that takes place from that limited state of the brain will be fragmented; therefore there will be conflict, pain, and all the rest of it. So you say: 'Look, find out, don't argue, because you can argue endlessly. Find out if that momentum, which has tremendous volume and depth, which is like a tremendous flow of energy, which is knowledge, stop.' That's all.
Q3: Much reference has been made to the tape recorder registering, and it just goes on registering and can't stop itself; it has to be stopped by somebody else.
K: Oh, yes, if somebody plugs it out, it stops.
Q3: But, then, can the brain stop itself?
K: We are going to find out. First face the question; that's my point. First listen to the question.
SP: Is the whole of my consciousness only registration? In the whole of my consciousness, is there only registering going on?
K: Of course.
SP: Then what is it that observes this registering? What is it that can observe this registering or prevent registering? Because I also know silence.
K: Ah. You know the silence between two noises.
SP: Yes. But is the silence which I experience also a registering then?
SP: You can't call it registering.
K: As long as there is a registration process going on, it is mechanical.
SP: That's all right.
K: Is there silence which is non-mechanistic? Which means you haven't thought about it, you haven't induced it, you haven't brought it about, invented it. As long as you do that, the silence is merely mechanistic.
SP: One knows the non-mechanistic silence sometimes, surely.
K: Ah, not sometimes.
SP: If you don't grant it...
K: I don't grant it.
Rajesh Dalal (RD): Is it possible for a non-mechanistic silence to come?
K: Ah, I am not interested in it. I am asking something entirely different. You don't answer it by saying 'silence'. I am saying this momentum of the past, our conditioning, the whole consciousness, is the past. There is nothing new in it. There is no future consciousness. The whole consciousness is the past-registered, remembered, stored -experience, knowledge, fear, pleasure, all the rest of it; that is the whole momentum of the past. And somebody comes along and says: 'Listen to what I have to say, my friend. This is the momentum, we all know that. Find out if it can be stopped; otherwise this momentum, which is fragmentary activity, will go on endlessly for the rest of your blasted life.'
RB: This question cannot be answered. Whatever answer comes is again the past.
K: I am going to find out.
GM: But, for that, the mind has to go beyond the mind.
K: No, sir, don't believe in that yet. Find out if you can stop it. Therefore I ask, 'Will you listen when I call you a fool?' When I call you a fool, is this momentum carrying you along? Or you will stop and listen without any movement of the past?
GM: I think the momentum can be stopped only if we don't add to it.
K: No, no! The momentum is you, is your consciousness. The 'you' is not different from this momentum. You don't recognize that. You are this vast momentum of tradition, of racial prejudice, collective drive, so-called individual assertions, and so on. This is a vast river, and somebody comes and says: 'Look, if there is no stopping to that, there is no future. The future will be the same thing, modified, changed a little bit here and there, but it will be that. So there is no future if this current is going on. You may call it a future, but there is no future.'
PJ: Now, you are not there. And darkness arises within me. The question arises: can consciousness, which is itself its own content, which is the darkness...
PJ: ...hold this? You used that word hold.
K: Yes, hold it, hold it.
PJ: What exactly does that mean?
K: I think it is fairly simple. Can you, can the brain, hold this momentum, or is it an idea that it is a momentum? Listen to it carefully. Is the momentum actual, or is it an idea? If it is an idea, then you can hold the idea about the momentum. But if it is not an idea, a conclusion, then the brain is directly in contact with the momentum, and therefore it can say, 'All right, I'll watch.' It is watching it, not allowing it to move.
PJ: Sir, if you could take it a little further.
K: I am going to. My consciousness, with all its content, is consciousness. The content make the consciousness. Without the content, consciousness as we know it will not exist. It's logical, it's obvious. That content is this vast movement.
RD: What happens is that there is a particular time the content comes in with the word momentum, then we hold on to that word.
K: That's what I am saying. Is it the word you are holding on to, or are you observing this vast movement? You are that vast movement. When we say, 'You are that vast movement', is it an idea?
K: Therefore you are that. Now, somebody comes along and says, 'Find out if that thing can end.' Which is the past coming, meeting the present-a challenge, a question-and ending there. Otherwise there is no end to suffering. Man has put up with suffering thousand years upon thousand years. That momentum is going on and on. You may say, 'Jesus came and carried my suffering' and all that stuff, but still I suffer. I can give an explanation- karma, reincarnation-but I still suffer. This suffering is a vast momentum of man. Can that momentum come to an end without control? The controller is the controlled, the division, all that. Can that stop? If it doesn't stop, then there is no freedom. Then our action will always be incomplete, therefore there will be regret, pain, suffering, all the rest of it. If you see the whole of that, see it actually, then...
Q3: In a discussion like this when I am challenged about something like registration, I see clearly; what prevents continuous perception?
K: There is nothing to prevent it. If I have understood your question rightly, who is to prevent this thing?
Q3: In a discussion like this, issues like registration become clear, but on leaving, it becomes cloudy: I don't see so clearly.
K: Ah no, no. Either you see it or you don't see it. If you see the danger, it is finished. It is like seeing a cliff, a cobra, a snake, this or that. You see a bus coming along, rushing towards you; you see the danger and step out. You don't say, 'Well, I see one day, and the next day I am rather cloudy when the bus is coming.'
RD: Then can we discuss this feeling of ours which says that we are seeing it just now?
K: Yes, go ahead if you want to.
RD: This feeling that we are observing ourselves just now- what is it?
K: You are being forced by the speaker, aren't you, influenced, pushed, directed; and the moment that pressure is released, you are back to yourself.
RD: I am seeing the fact that there is fear, I am reacting.
PJ: Can you ever see that? When you say you are seeing in the present, what are you seeing?
K: Pupulji, may I ask something? I call you a fool; must you register it?
PJ: I'll tell you, sir.
K: Wait, I am asking you. Just don't come to your answer. I am asking you a very simple question: you are called a fool; why should you register it?
PJ: I can't just answer why I should register. You see, it is a question of whether these eyes and ears of mine are flowing out to the word fool. If they are still and listen, there is no registration. There is listening, but no registration.
K: So what are you saying?
PJ: That is, there is no seeing of this movement. I was observing while this discussion was going on, and I asked, what does it mean to register the fact 'You are a fool'? Obviously, if my listening is directed to the word coming out of you, I register. The very movement outward throws it back, but if the eyes and ears are listening and seeing but still, then they take in without any registration.
K: So you are saying that if there is a quietness in listening, there is no registration. But most of us are not quiet. That's not my point.
PJ: We cannot answer that question of yours: why should one register?
K: No, no. I am asking quite a different question. One calls you a fool. Don't register it at all!
PJ: But it is not a process in which I can register or I cannot register. You are trying to give alternatives, the way you put it. It is as though it is possible either to register or not to register.
K: No, we are registering all the time.
PJ: So there is a registration all the time.
K: All the time.
PJ: As long as my senses are moving outwards from me, there is registration.
K: When you say 'as long as', that means you are not now.
PJ: No, it's an explanation. That's why I say this is what I felt during this listening to you-the instant I was still in my listening, there was insight.
K: You are not answering.
Questioner 4 (Q4): You asked a question: can you stop registering? At this moment we are not very much exposed to the danger of it.
K: That means you are conditioned to the danger of a cobra, right? So as long as you are conditioned not to register, you won't register. I am conditioned through centuries that a cobra is a dangerous snake, so I respond instantly according to that conditioning when I meet a cobra. And you are saying that if I can get conditioned to the stopping of this momentum, then it is finished. So you depend on the conditioning.
Q2: Is there a correlation between registering and resistance?
K: I can resist it, but I have already registered it. I can resist your calling me a fool, turning my head away, but it has already sunk in.
Q3: If we no longer continue to reflect on the registration, is that the ending of the registration?
K: I don't quite follow.
Q3: I can't see how it's possible to not always register. Maybe my reflection on the registration is where the momentum is.
K: I understand. I don't know how to answer all these questions. I want to find out whether this vast field of the past can come to an end; that is all my question. Or must it go on everlastingly?
PJ: You wouldn't accept anything. You wouldn't accept any kind of statement on it. Therefore the brain cells have to end.
K: I am asking you, can it end? If it doesn't end, you know what it is.
PJ: So let's move from that to the brain cells which are actually registering.
K: So the brain cells are registering. Those brain cells are heavily conditioned because they have realized that the momentum is the only safety as long as they live. So in that momentum the brain has found tremendous security.
PJ: And it has only one movement. There is only one movement which is the movement...
K: ...of the past.
PJ: ...of the past touching it...
K: ...moving on.
PJ: ...and moving on.
K: Yes, that's it-the past meeting the present, moving on, modified; we've gone into that. The brain is conditioned to that because it has found safety in that. It sees that as long as that stream exists, it is perfectly safe. Now, how are those cells to be shown that it is the most dangerous movement? That momentum is the momentum in which the brain has found enormous security. In the past the brain has found its well-being. Now, to point out to that brain the danger of this momentum is all that matters. The moment it sees the danger, it will move.
TKP: Can the frightened mind ask such a question?
K: I am asking you. I am asking you: 'Do you see the danger of this momentum of the past meeting the present, learning from it a little more or a little less, modifying itself, and moving on. Do you see the danger of this movement, the actual danger, not the theoretical danger, but the actual danger?' If you don't see it, all your questions will arise. But if you see the danger, the brain says, 'By Jove, I can't do that.' You follow what I am saying?
PJ: How do you do that?
K: I am doing it now. For God's sake!
PJ: Are your brain cells doing that?
K: What? What do you mean 'my brain cells'?
PJ: Are your brain cells saying that this movement...
K: ...is dangerous? My brain is using the words to inform you of the danger, but it has no danger in that. It has seen it and dropped it. You're getting off with my brain; to hell with my brain! I beg your pardon. [Laughter] Do you see the danger of a cobra? When you see the danger, you avoid it. You avoid it because you've been conditioned through millennia to the danger of a snake. So your responses are according to the conditioning, which is instant action. The brain has been conditioned to carry on because it thinks that in that there is complete safety-it thinks. Meeting the present, learning from it, modifying, and moving-the brain says, 'That is the only safety movement I know, so I am going to remain there.' But the moment the brain realizes that it is the most dangerous thing, it is out.
Q1: But the brain has to realize that when it is actual, when you see the cobra...
K: Have you ever met a cobra?
K: What happened? You acted instantly.
Q1: I just had a moment of fear.
K: Yes. You acted, which is according to your conditioning.
K: And you act now, according to your conditioning, in this momentum.
K: Both are conditioned actions. There, with the cobra, it has realized the danger of it. Here it hasn't realized the danger of its momentum because it says, 'I know, in my knowledge there is safety.' But when it sees the danger of it, it won't act from a conditioning; it is out of it.
RB: The difficulty is in seeing it with all one's...
K: Do it, do it! You see, we act according to our conditioning. With the cobra you act according to your conditioning, you act according to your conditioning of the past. So your response to your conditioning is based on reward and punishment. Those are the motives: reward or punishment, all the complications of reward or the complications of punishment. Now, somebody comes along and says: 'Look, just stop a minute, just listen, don't argue, don't fight, don't say yes or no; just listen. Can this movement stop, because this is the most dangerous movement? Because the brain becomes mechanical, it breeds separation, conflict, wars, and other things. And do you see the danger of it? If you don't see the danger of it, let's talk about it till you see the danger.' After all, your great, great apes said, 'Be careful of that snake; my mother was bitten, killed. So you be careful.' And this has been handed down to us. And the same thing in this direction, in this momentum. So can you see the immense danger of this? Like when you see the immense danger of nationalism, it's over; you don't argue, discuss. It's a dangerous thing. If I see the danger of following somebody-a guru, a leader, an idea, this or that-it's finished, I'm out of it. The difficulty is we are so heavily conditioned that we don't listen.
Q1: Take the example of a child which has no knowledge, let's say...
K: Oh yes, it has got all of it, sir. [Laughs] It's already frightened.
Q4: It's already frightened?
K: 'The toy is mine, not yours.'
Q1: No, but I mean a very small child.
K: Even there. You must know your children.
RD: You said this momentum is dangerous. What happens is that we say, 'This is dangerous to the momentum' rather than 'The momentum is dangerous.'
K: The momentum itself is a danger.
RD: We are not clear about it yet. I don't see the danger of the momentum as actually as you see it.
K: Why, sir?
RD: It is partly because I have never observed the momentum for long to see its danger.
K: Are you living with the description of the momentum or living with the momentum itself, which is you? Is the momentum different from you?
K: So you are the momentum. So you are watching yourself.
RD: That's right, but this doesn't happen often.
K: Ah, ah. Those are awful words-often and continuous. Are you aware, without any choice, that you are the momentum? Not sometimes. It is a fact. You can't say, 'The precipice I see only occasionally.' So if the word is not the thing, then the word is not the fear. But has the word created the fear? So if there is no word, would I name it as fear?
K: Don't answer quickly. Find out, go slowly. The word is not the thing. The door, the actuality, is not the word. That's very clear. Fear is not the word, we say. But has the word created fear? Without the word, would that thing called fear exist? The word is the registration process. There is something totally new that arises. That new something the brain refuses because it is a new thing; so it immediately says, 'It is fear.' To hold the brain's momentum and to wait, to watch, to give a gap between the movement of thought interfering with the actual moment of that feeling. That can happen only when you go very deeply into the fact that the word is not the thing. The word is not the fear. Does the fear exist without the word? Immediately you stop the momentum.
Q3: A child may burn his hand in all innocence, and from then on it is afraid of fire.
K: Of course.
Q3: But the actual action came before the fear, and he doesn't even know the word fear.
K: No, of course not. But that's what we are saying: experience, registration, knowledge always captures the present.
PJ: You mean to say it is only the naming which differentiates the quality of tenderness which arises and the quality of hatred which arises?
K: No, no. Let's take hatred. How does it arise? You have done something, said something which hurt me, my image of myself, and therefore there is that hatred arising from the image. Is tenderness, love an image?
RB: When the word comes in, whether it is tenderness or anything else, then it is all part of the 'me'.
K: Of course.
RB: Therefore there is no difference in that sense.
AP: Therefore I had suggested that instead of taking hate or tenderness, we take something non-verbalized, something suspended, which is a tendency-aversion-attraction. Now, aversion-attraction is the soil in which tenderness and hatred flower. I am conscious only of that soil. They have become neither hate nor tenderness. And I ask you, with reference to what we have been talking about, whether that momentum can be held at the point where this soil has not split into aversion-attraction.
K: Yes, I understand. So what is the question?
PJ: The point is that in actual living these things arise in one-anger and tenderness. Let's not go into any big words about tenderness.
K: When you are tender, when there is that feeling of tenderness, you are not going through the process of verbalizing, naming, this, that. That is something which is not calculated, which is not conditioned.
PJ: I won't take that. Let's take the words anger and fear.
K: They are both the same thing.
PJ: Are they both same?
K: Yes. Anger maintained, sustained, becomes hatred.
RB: To me it seems that everything lies in the question: how do I know there is tenderness?
K: The moment you say, 'I am tender', it's over.
RB: The moment I know that I am this, whatever it is...
PJ: I am not even going into the moment of knowing. I am going into the essential quality of it. I started by saying that Krishnaji talked of taking either anger or fear, without the name, and holding it in consciousness.
K: Do you ever hold anger in your consciousness? Do you ever hold anger, or has it already moved? That's what I am asking you. I am saying that when there is anger, hold it, remain with it.
AP: You are talking of anger after it has come as an outer impact. I am talking of it as it arises, as a quintessential aversion.
K: Sir, you are sticking to your aversion and non-aversion.
AP: I stick to it because it has not become anger. It will become anger the moment it gets a chance.
K: The aversion...
AP: ...is in the soil.
K: ...is the soil. The soil is the image.
AP: The soil is the momentum.
K: The soil is the momentum, the picture is the momentum. Just stick to one thing, don't move away from it. I've repeated this, I am sick of it.
PJ: I am still wanting to get to the thing which you said last night(2).
K: What is it?
(2) Public Talk in Madras on 12 December 1976
PJ: You said last night, 'Is it possible to hold this quality of feeling without the word?'
K: Yes, that's it. Do it.
PJ: Listen to what I'm trying to say.
K: Of course it can.
PJ: Whether it is hatred, anger...
K: Doesn't matter. To hold the feeling of fear without the word, just remain with that feeling. Do it and you'll see.
GM: How is it possible? Some other thought comes in when you try to hold it.
K: Then you can't hold it.
GM: You escape from it.
K: Then escape from it, then escape from it. No other choice escaping from it. Be aware of the whole! But if you say, 'I must hold it', then it becomes a formula, and you are lost. Right?
PJ: What did you exactly mean?
K: I mean a very simple thing. When fear arises, from whatever cause, remain with it without any momentum, without any movement of thought.
PJ: What is it then?
K: What is it then? It is no longer the thing which I have associated with the past as fear.
PJ: What is it?
K: I would say it is energy held without any movement. Then, when energy is held without any movement, there is an explosion; that thing gets transformed.
PJ: I am afraid to have fear.
K: No, no.
PJ: Yes, sir. I am afraid to face what you are talking about.
K: Don't face it.
PJ: That's really, basically...
K: Of course, then don't face it.
GM: Then I am back to where I am.
K: Oh, then remain where you are. You see, we are so greedy for everything. I say I don't know. Whatever action I take will be wrong. Because I am so utterly confused in myself, whatever action I take will be confused. So I say all right. I remain with my confusion. Just listen to it. I remain with my confusion, I won't move. If I move, I am confused. Whatever I do will be confused. Can you say that, actually? Then what takes place? I am confused. I don't know. Politicians say this, scientists say this, the gurus say this, the books say this, I say this. It is such a nightmarish confusion. And whatever you do out of that soil, whatever grows out of that soil, will be confused. Do you see it actually, or is it a theory? That's our difficulty. We have made it into a theory, an idea: 'I am confused.' You don't say that when you are hungry, you don't make it into an idea 'I am hungry.'