The Natural State

In the words of U.G. Krishnamurti
Peter Maverick    1  ·  2  ·  3  ·  4  ·  5  


This is the only reality I have, the world as it is today. The ultimate reality that man has invented has absolutely no relation to the reality of this world. As long as you are seeking, searching and wanting to understand what you call ultimate reality, or call it by whatever name you like, it will not be possible for you to come to terms with the reality of the world exactly the way it is. So anything you do to escape from the reality of this world will make it difficult for you to live in harmony with the things around you.

We have an idea of harmony, of how to live at peace. There is an extraordinary peace that is there already. What makes it difficult for you to live at peace with yourself is the creation of what you call peace, which is totally unrelated to the harmonious functioning of this body. When you free yourself from the burden of reaching out there to grasp, to experience and to be in that reality, then you will find that it is difficult to understand the reality of anything.

You will find that you have no way of experiencing the reality of anything, but at least you will not be living in a world of illusions. You will accept that there is nothing that you can do to experience the reality of anything except the reality that is imposed on us by the society. We have to accept the reality as it is imposed on us by the society because it is very essential for us to function in this world intelligently and sanely. If we don't accept that reality, we are lost. We will end up in the loony bin.

So we have to accept the reality as it is imposed on us by the culture, by society or whatever you want to call it and at the same time understand that there is nothing that we can do to experience the reality of anything. Then you will not be in conflict with the society, and the demand to be something other than what you are will come to an end. The goal that you have placed before yourself, which you have accepted as the ideal to be reached, and the demand to be something other than what you are, are no longer there.

The pursuit of those goals which the culture has placed before us and that we have accepted as desirable is not there any more. The demand to reach them is no longer there, so you are what you are. When the movement in the direction of becoming something other than what you are isn't there any more, you are not in conflict with yourself. If you are not in conflict with yourself you cannot be in conflict with the society around you. As long as you are not at peace with yourself it is not possible for you to be at peace with others. Even then, there is no guarantee that your neighbors will be peaceful, but, you see, you will not be concerned with that.

When you are at peace with yourself then you are a threat to the society as it functions today. You will be a threat to your neighbors because they have accepted the reality of the world as real and because they are also pursuing some funny thing called peace. You will become a threat to their existence as they know it and as they experience it. So you are all alone. Not the aloneness that people want to avoid. You are all alone.

It's not ultimate reality that one is really interested in, not the teachings of the gurus, not the teachings of the holy men, not the umpteen number of techniques you have, which will give you the energy which you are seeking. Once that movement is not there, that will set in motion and release the energy that is there. It doesn't have to be the holy man's teaching. It doesn't have to be any techniques that man has invented, because there is no friction there. You really don't know what it is.

The movement there and the movement here are one and the same. The human machine is no different from the machine out there. Both of them are in unison. Whatever energy is there, the same energy is in operation here. So any energy you experience through the practice of any techniques is a frictional energy. That energy is created by the friction of thought. The demand to experience that energy is responsible for the energy you experience, but this energy is something which cannot be experienced at all.

This is just an expression of life, a manifestation of life. You don't have to do a thing. Anything you do to experience that is preventing the energy which is already there, which is the expression of life, which is the manifestation of life, from functioning. It has no value in terms of the values we give to whatever we are doing—the techniques, meditation, yoga and all that. I am not against any one of those things, please don't get me wrong, but they are not the means to achieve the goal that you have placed before yourself. The goal itself is false.

If the suppleness of the body is the goal you have before you, probably the techniques of yoga will help you to keep the body supple. But that is not the instrument to reach the goal of enlightenment or transformation or whatever you want to call it. Even the techniques of meditation are self-centered activities. They are all self-perpetuating mechanisms which you use. So the object of your search for ultimate reality is defeated by all these techniques because these techniques are self-perpetuating instruments. You will suddenly realize, or it will dawn on you, that the very search for ultimate reality is also a self-perpetuating mechanism. There is nothing to reach, nothing to gain, nothing to attain.

As long as you are doing something to attain your goal it is a self-perpetuating mechanism. I say self-perpetuating mechanism but I don't mean that there is a self or an entity. I have to use the word self because there is no other word. That is all that it is interested in. Anything you want to achieve is a self-centered activity. When I use the term self-centered activity you always translate it in terms of something that should be avoided because selflessness is your goal.

As long as you are doing something to be selfless you will be a self-centered individual. When this movement in the direction of wanting to be a selfless man is not there, then there is no self and there is no self-centered activity. So it is the very techniques, systems and methods which you are using to reach your goal of selflessness that are self-centered activities. Unfortunately, society has placed that goal before us as the ideal goal because a selfless man will be a great asset to the society, and the society is interested only in continuity, the status quo. So all those values which we have accepted as values that one should cultivate are invented by the human mind to keep itself going.

The goal is what is making it possible for you to continue in this way, but you are not getting anywhere. The hope is that one day, through some miracle or through the help of somebody, you will be able to reach the goal. It is hope that keeps you going, but actually and factually you are not getting anywhere. You will realize, somewhere along the line, that whatever you are doing to reach your goal is not leading you anywhere. Then you will want to try this, that and the other. But if you try one and you see that it doesn't work you will see that all the other systems are exactly the same. This has to be very clear, you see.

Whatever pursuit you are indulging in, somewhere along the line it has to dawn on you that it is not leading you anywhere. As long as you want something you will do that. That want has to be very clear. What do you want? All the time I ask you the question, “What do you want?” You say, “I want to be at peace with myself.” That is an impossible goal for you because everything you are doing to be at peace with yourself is what is destroying the peace that is already there. You have set in motion the movement of thought, which is destroying the peace that is there, you see. It is very difficult to understand that all that you are doing is the impediment, is the one thing that is disturbing the harmony, the peace that is already there.

Any movement in any direction, on any level, is a very destructive factor for the smooth and peaceful functioning of this living organism, which is not at all interested in your spiritual experiences. It has no interest in any one of those spiritual experiences, however extraordinary they may be. When once you have one spiritual experience, there is bound to be a demand for more of the same, and ultimately you will want to be in that state permanently.

There is no such thing as permanent happiness or permanent bliss at all. You think that there is because all those books talk of eternal bliss, permanent bliss or permanent happiness. Yet you know jolly well that it is not leading you anywhere. So the mechanism that is involved, the instrument that you are using, is the one that keeps you going, because it does not know anything else. It has come into being through so many years of hard work, effort and will.

Your wanting to be in a state of effortlessness through the use of effort is not going to succeed. So forget about the effortless state. It doesn't exist at all. You want to achieve an effortless state through effort. How the hell are you going to achieve that goal? You forget that everything that you are doing, any movement that is there, any want that is there for whatever reason, is effort.

Effortlessness is something which cannot be achieved through effort. Anything that you do to stop the effort is itself an effort. It's really a maddening thing. You have not really pushed yourself into that corner. If you do, then you will really go crazy. But you are frightened of that. You have to see that everything that you are doing to be in that effortless state, for whatever reason you want to be there, is effort. Even wanting not to use effort also is effort. The total absence of will and effort, all and every kind, may be called an effortless state, but that is not something that you can achieve through effort.

You can change the techniques, you can change the teachers, but basically and essentially the very teaching that you are using to reach your goal is the obstacle. It doesn't matter what teacher you follow. Understanding is the absence of the demand for understanding. It may sound funny to you but that's the way it is. So what do you want to understand? You can't understand me at all. You are not going to understand anything at all. It's not that it is difficult. It is so simple. The complex structure that is involved is the very thing that does not accept the simplicity of it. That is really the problem. “It can't be that simple,” you think, because that structure is so complex that it doesn't want even to consider the possibility that it could be so simple.

I am not saying anything profound. I have been repeating the same thing day after day. Basically, it sounds very contradictory to you. What I am doing is I make a statement and the second statement negates the first statement. Sometimes you see contradictions in what I am saying. Actually, they are not contradictions. This statement does not express what I am trying to express so the second statement is negating the first statement. The third statement is negating the first two statements and the fourth statement is negating the previous three statements, not with the idea of arriving at any goal, not with the idea of communicating anything to you. There is nothing to be communicated, only this series of negations, not with the idea of arriving at any goal. Your goal is understanding. You want to understand, you see. There is nothing to understand here. Every time you make some sense out of it, I try to point out that is not it.

It is not the doctrine of neti-neti. You know, in India they have evolved this negative approach, but the so-called negative approach is a positive approach because they are still interested in reaching a goal. They have failed through the positive approaches so they have invented what is called the negative approach, “Not this, not this.” The unknown cannot be reached, you see, nor can it be experienced through the positive approach. The so-called negative approach is not really a negative approach because there is still the positive goal of knowing the unknown or wanting to experience something which cannot be experienced. It's only a trick. That's all it is, playing games.

There is no such thing as the unknown at all. How can I say that there is no such thing as the unknown? How can I make such a dogmatic assertion? You will find out. As long as you are pursuing the unknown, this movement is in operation. There is something that you can do that gives you the hope that maybe one day you will stumble into this experience of the unknown. How can the unknown ever become the known? Not a chance. Even assuming for a moment that this movement is not there, what is there you will never know. You have no way of knowing it at all, no way of capturing and experiencing that or giving expression to it.

To talk of eternal bliss, love—all of that is romantic poetry. You see, if you translate what I am saying in terms of your values, in terms of particular codes of conduct, you are really missing the point. It is not that I am against the moral codes of conduct. They have a social value. They are essential for the smooth functioning of society. You have to have some code of conduct to function in this world intelligently. Otherwise, there will be utter chaos. That is a social problem.

It is not an ethical or religious problem. You have to separate the two things because we are living in a different world today. We have to find another way of keeping ourselves in harmony with the world around us. As long as you are in conflict within yourself, it will not be possible for you to be in harmony with the society around you. You are yourself responsible for that.

If you translate the statements that I am making within the framework of your religious thinking, you are really missing the point. It has nothing to do with religion at all. I am not suggesting that you should change yourself into something other than what you are. It is just not possible. I am not trying to free you from anything. I don't think there is any purpose in this talking. You can brush aside my description and say it is nonsense. That's your privilege. But maybe it will occur to you that the image you have of your goal, or the image of what you are going to do one day, through all the effort and will which you are using, has absolutely no relationship whatsoever with what I am describing. What I am describing is not really what you are interested in.

I wish I could give you just a glimpse of it, a touch of it. You wouldn't want to touch this at all. And what you want, what you are interested in, doesn't exist. You can have a lot of petty experiences if that is what you are interested in. Do all the meditations. Do everything you want. You will have lots of them. It's a lot easier to experience those things by taking drugs. I am not recommending drugs but they are the same. Doctors say that drugs will damage the brain but meditation will also damage the brain if it is done very seriously. They have gone crazy, jumped into rivers and killed themselves. They did all kinds of things, locked themselves up in caves because they couldn't face it.

You see, it is not possible for you to watch your thoughts. It is not possible for you to watch every step you take, it will drive you crazy. You can't walk. That's not what is meant by this idea that you should be aware of everything, watch every thought. How is it possible for you to watch every thought of yours, and for what do you want to watch your thoughts? What for, control? It's not possible for you to control. It is a tremendous momentum.

When you succeed in your imagination that you have controlled your thoughts and experienced some space between those thoughts, or some state of thoughtlessness, you feel that you are getting somewhere. That is a thought-induced state of thoughtlessness. The fact that you experience the space between two thoughts, the thoughtless state, means that the thought was very much there.

It surfaces afterwards, like the Rhone, which flows through France, disappears, and then comes up again. It has gone underground. The river is still there. You can't use it for purposes of navigation, but ultimately it comes up again. In exactly the same way, all these things which you are pushing down into the subterranean regions, feeling that you are experiencing something extraordinary, surface again. And then you will find that those thoughts are welling up inside of you.

You are not aware that you are breathing now. You don't have to be conscious of your breathing. Why do you want to be conscious of your breathing? To control your breathing, to expand your lungs, to do what you like with your chest, that's a different matter. But why do you want to be aware of the movement of breath from the origin to the end? You suddenly become conscious of your breathing. Your breath and thought are very closely related. That's why you want to control your breath. And that, in a way, is controlling the thought for a while. But if you hold your breath for long it is going to choke you to death in exactly the same way that anything you do to hold or block the flow of thoughts is going to choke you to death, literally to death, or damage something. Thought is a very powerful vibration, an extraordinary vibration. It is like an atom. You can't play with those things.

You are not going to reach your goal of completely controlling your thought. Thought has to function in its own way, in its disconnected, disjointed way. That is something which cannot be brought about through any effort of yours. It has to fall into its normal rhythm. Even if you want to make it fall into a normal rhythm, you are adding momentum to that. It has a life of its own which has, unfortunately, established a parallel life within the movement of life. These two are always in conflict. That will come to an end only when the body comes to an end.

Thought has become the master of this body. Thought has totally mastered the whole thing. It is still trying to control everything that is there. You don't have to do a thing. You are not separate from that, that's all I am emphasizing. You cannot separate yourself from the thought and say, “These are my thoughts.” That is the illusion you have, and you cannot be without any illusion. You always replace one illusion with another illusion; always.

You accept that you are always replacing one illusion with another illusion, so your wanting to be free from illusion is an impossibility. That itself is an illusion. Why do you want to be free from illusions? That's the end of you. It's not that I am frightening you, I am just pointing out that it is not just a lighthearted game to play. That is you, you as you know yourself. When that knowledge you have of yourself is not there any more, the knowledge you have about the world also is not there any more, it can't be there any more. It is not going to come to an end that easily. It will always be replaced by another illusion.

You don't want to be a normal person. You don't want to be an ordinary person. That is really the problem. It is the most difficult thing to be an ordinary person. Culture demands you must be something other than what you are. That has created a certain momentum, a powerful movement of thought. You can use it to achieve something, otherwise it has no use. You can build a tremendous philosophical structure of thought, but that has no value at all. You can interpret any event, but thought is not intended for that. At the same time, you forget that everything you have around you is the creation of thought. You are yourself born out of thought, otherwise you would not be here at all. In that sense it has value. Yet it is the very thing that destroys you. That's the paradox.

Everything that you have created in this world has become possible through the help of thought, but unfortunately, that very thing has become the enemy because you are using thought for purposes for which it is not intended. It can be used for solving the technical problems very well and efficiently but it cannot be used to solve the problems of life. Anything that does not suggest your positive thinking you call it negative. But positive and negative are only in the field of your thinking. When the thought is not there it is neither positive nor negative. As I was saying, there is no such thing as a negative approach at all. It's a gimmick.

I am telling you to stand on your own. You can walk. You can swim. You are not going to sink. That's all that I can say. As long as there is fear, the danger of your sinking is almost certain. Otherwise, there is a buoyancy there in the water that keeps you afloat. The fear of sinking is the very thing that makes it impossible for you to let the movement happen in its own way. You see, it has no direction. It is just a movement with no direction. You are trying to manipulate and channel that movement along a particular direction so that you can have some benefits. You are just a movement without a direction.

There is no inside or outside. What's there is only the operation, the flow of the knowledge. You have gathered all this knowledge from various sources. It gives you power. Knowledge is power. To acquire more and more knowledge, more than is essential for the survival of the living organism, is to acquire power over others.

The technical knowledge that you need to make a living is understandable. You may have to learn a skill. The society is not going to feed you unless you give something in return. You have to give them what they want, not what you have to give.

You have, through ideation and mentation, created your own thoughts which you consider to be yours, just as when different colors are mixed into various hues, but all of them can be reduced to the seven basic colors found in nature. What you think are your thoughts are actually just combinations and permutations of the thoughts of others.

You cannot conceive of the possibility of understanding anything except in time. Everything takes time. It has taken so many years for you to be where you are today and you are still striving and struggling to reach a higher plateau, higher and higher. That instrument which you are using cannot conceive of the possibility of understanding anything without effort, without striving, without producing results, but the issues that you have to deal with in life are the living issues. Thought has not helped us to solve those problems. Temporarily, you can find some solution, but that creates another problem, and it goes on and on. These are all life issues, but the mind is a dead instrument and cannot be used to understand anything living.

How can you bring about a change in consciousness, which has no limits, which has no boundaries, which has no frontiers? You can do every kind of research to find the seat of human consciousness, but there is no such thing as the seat of human consciousness at all. You can try but the chances of succeeding in that are slim.

There is no such thing as a seat located in any particular individual. What there is, is thought. Whenever a thought takes its birth there, you have created an entity or a point, and in reference to that point you are experiencing things. Every time a thought is born you are born. Thought, in its very nature, is short-lived. This state cannot be described in terms of bliss, love, compassion and all that poetic nonsense and romantic stuff because you have no way of experiencing what is there between these two thoughts.

The world you experience around you is also from that point of view. There must be a point and it is this that creates the space. If this point is not there, there is no space, so anything you experience from this point is an illusion. Not that the world is an illusion—the world is not an illusion—but anything you experience in relationship to this point, which itself is illusory, is bound to be an illusion, that's all. The Sanskrit word maya does not mean illusion in the same sense in which the English word is used. Maya means to measure. You cannot measure anything unless you have a point. So if the center is absent there is no circumference at all. That is pure and simple basic arithmetic. This point has no continuity. It comes into being in response to the demands of the situation. They create it.

There is light. If the light is not there, you have no way of looking at anything. The light falls on that object and the reflection of that light activates the optic nerves which in turn activate the memory cells. When the memory cells are activated, all the knowledge you have about that object comes into operation. It is that process which is happening there that has created the subject and the subject is the knowledge you have about it. When you reduce it to that, you feel the absurdity of talking about the self. The lower self, the higher self and self knowing, self-knowledge, knowing from moment to moment, is absolute rubbish, balderdash! You can indulge in such absolute nonsense and build up philosophical theories but there is no subject there at all, at any time.

So not only the I but all the physical sensations are involved in this. Sound, smell and the sense of touch—the operation of any one of these sensations necessarily creates the subject. It's not one continuous subject which is gathering all these experiences, piling them up together and then saying, “This is me,” but everything is discontinuous and disconnected. The sound is one. The physical seeing is one. The smelling is one. They come and go. There is no permanent entity there at all. What is there is only a first person singular pronoun, nothing else. If you don't want to use that word it is your privilege. That's all that is there. There is no permanent entity there at all.

While you are living, the knowledge that is there does not belong to you. So why are you concerned as to what will happen after what you call you is gone? The physical body is functioning from moment to moment because that is the way the sensory perceptions are. To talk of living from moment to moment by creating a thought-induced state of mind has no meaning to me except in terms of the physical functioning of the body.

When thought is not there all the time, what is there is living from moment to moment. It's all frames, millions of frames, to put it in the language of film. There is no continuity there. There is no movement there. Thought can never capture the movement. It is only when you invest a thought with motion you try to capture the movement, but actually thought can never capture any movement that is there around you. The movement of life out there is the movement of life here. They are together always.

So thought is essential only for the survival of this living organism. When it is necessary it is there. When it is not necessary the question of whether it is there or not is of no importance at all. You cannot talk of that state in a poetic, romantic language. And one in that state won't be hiding somewhere. He will be there shining like the star. You can't keep such people under a bushel. To be an individual is not an easy thing, you see. That means you are very ordinary. You want to be something other than what you are. To be yourself is very easy. You don't have to do a thing. No effort is necessary. You don't have to exercise will. You don't have to do anything to be yourself, but to be something other than what you are you have to do a lot of things.

When there is an actual physical danger, the danger of the extinction of your physical body, then everything that it has as its resource gets thrown into that situation and the body tries to survive in that particular moment. Have you ever noticed that when there is a real physical danger your thinking mechanism is never there to help you? You can plan ahead for every possible situation and be prepared to meet every kind of situation in your life, but actually when there is a physical danger all your planning and all that you have thought about to be prepared to meet every kind of danger and every kind of situation is just not there. The body has to fall back on its own resources.

This living organism is not interested in its continuity in terms of years. This is functioning from moment to moment. The sensory perceptions function from moment to moment. There is no continuity in your physical seeing. There is no continuity in your physical hearing. There is no continuity in your smelling. There is no continuity when you eat something. There is no continuity in the sense of touch. They are all disconnected and disjointed. But thought, in its interest to maintain itself and to continue without any interruption, demands these experiences all the time. That is the only way it can maintain its continuity. The body functions in a completely different way and it is not interested in the activity of thought.

The only thought that is necessary for this body is the thought that it has to use for the survival of the living organism. Even if you do not feed this body, it is not concerned about that. It has certain resources which you have built up through years of eating it falls back on. At the same time, it is foolish not to feed the body hoping that you will attain some spiritual goals. That's what they do in India, they put the body through all kinds of stresses and strains, torture it, because they feel that through this endurance they will be able to achieve whatever their spiritual goals may be.

There is nothing that you can do to make this happen through any will of yours, through any effort of yours, through any volition of yours. If this kind of a thing happens, it is not something mysterious. Thought falls into its natural rhythm of discontinuous and disconnected functioning, that's all. That's all that is there.

Thought will be in harmony with the sensory perceptions and the activity of the senses. There is no conflict there. There is no struggle there. There is no pain there. There is a harmonious relationship between the two. Whenever there is a need for thought, it is always there to act. The action that this body is interested in is only the action that is essential for the survival of the living organism.

Culture has been adopted and accepted as a means of survival, that's all. The society is interested only in fitting every individual into its framework and maintaining its continuity. I don't know if I have made myself clear. The reason why I am emphasizing the physical aspect is not with the idea of selling something but to emphasize and express what you call enlightenment, liberation, transformation, in pure and simple physical and physiological terms. There is absolutely no religious content to it, and no mystical overtones or undertones to the functioning of the body. Unfortunately, for centuries the whole thing has been interpreted in religious terms and that has caused misery for us all.

I am not interested in propagating this. This is not something which you can make happen, nor is it possible for me to create that hunger which is essential to understand anything. I am repeating this over and over again but repetition has its own charm. You are assuming that you are hungering for spiritual attainments and you are reaching out for your goals. Naturally, there are so many people in the market place, all these saints, selling all kinds of shoddy goods. They say it is for the welfare of mankind and that they do it out of compassion and all that kind of thing.

What I am trying to say is that you are satisfied with the crumbs they throw at you. They promise that one day they are going to deliver to you a full loaf of bread. That is just a promise. They cannot deliver the goods at all. There is no use waiting for something to happen to satisfy your hunger. The hunger has to burn itself up. Literally, it has to burn itself out.

It is not because of what you do or what you do not do that this kind of a thing happens. And why it happens to one individual and not another, there is no answer to that question. I assure you that it is not the man who has prepared himself or purified himself for whatever reason to be ready to receive that kind of a thing. It is the other way around. It hits but it hits at random. That is the way nature operates, lightning hits you somewhere. It is not interested in whether it is hitting a tree that is blooming or if it has fruits and is helping the people by providing shade, etc. It just strikes at random. In exactly the same way, it happens to a particular individual.

There are so many things happening in nature which cannot be attributed to any particular cause. So your interest in studying the lives or the biography of some of those people whom you think were enlightened, or godmen, or some such thing, is to find a clue as to how it happened to them so that you can use whatever technique they used and make the same thing happen to you. That is your interest. Those people are giving you techniques, systems and methods which don't work at all. They create the hope that somehow, through some miracle, one day it is going to happen to you, but it will never happen. That is something which you cannot make happen. It is not in your hands.

You are waiting for something to happen tomorrow. Tomorrow nothing will happen. Whatever has to happen, that has got to happen now. And the possibility of that happening now is practically and well nigh impossible because the instrument which you are using is the past. Unless the past comes to an end, there can't be any present. And that present moment is something which cannot be captured by you, cannot be experienced by you. Even assuming for a moment that the past has come to an end, you have no way of knowing that it has come to an end. Then there is no future for you at all.

You have tried but even those who are burning with hunger find it's impossible. Whenever such a thing has happened it happened to those people who had given up completely and totally all their search. That is an absolute requisite for that kind of a thing. The whole movement has to slow down and come to a stop. But anything you do to make it stop is only adding momentum to it. That's really the crux of the problem.

What you are interested in doesn't exist, it's your own imagination based upon the knowledge you have about those things, and so there is nothing that you can do about it. You are chasing something that does not exist at all. I can say that until the cows return home—I don't know when they return home here—or till the kingdom come, but that kingdom will never come.

When enlightenment comes it wipes out everything. That is something which cannot be made to happen through your effort or through the grace of anybody, through the help of even a god walking on the face of this earth claiming that he has specially descended from wherever for your sake and for the sake of mankind. That is just absolute gibberish. Nobody can help you. Help you to achieve what? That is the question, you see.

As long as your goal is there, these persons, their promises and their techniques will look very attractive to you. There is not anything you must do. You have nothing to get here. I have nothing to give you. I am not anything that you are not. You think that I am something different. The thought that I am different from others never enters my head; never. Whenever they ask questions I feel, “Why are these people asking these questions? How can I make them see?” I still have some trace of illusion maybe I can try. Even that try has no meaning to me. There's nothing that I can do about it. There is nothing to get—nothing to give and nothing to get. That is the situation.

If you want anything, the one thing that you will do is to set in motion the movement of thought to achieve your goal. Anything you make happen has no meaning at all. Then you will want more experiences and then when you succeed in having them you will demand some kind of a permanent situation, permanent happiness, permanent bliss. Yet there is no such thing as permanence at all.

You have no way of knowing what you are at all. Knowing what is there is impossible. That is always related to what you want to be. What you see here is the opposite of what you would like to be, what you want to be, what you ought to be, what you should be. What do you see here? You want to be happy so you are unhappy. Wanting to be happy creates the unhappiness. What you see here is the opposite of your goal of becoming happy, of wanting to be happy. Wanting to have pleasure all the time creates the pain here. So wanting and thinking, they always go together. They are not separate. Anything you want creates pain because you begin to think. If you don't want a thing in this world, there is no thinking. That does not mean thoughts are not there.

Whether you want to achieve material goals or spiritual goals it really doesn't matter. I am not saying anything against wanting. The fulfillment or non-fulfillment of the want is possible only through thinking, so the thinking has really created the problem for you. What I am suggesting is that all the problems we have cannot be solved on psychological and ethical levels. Man has tried for centuries to solve them but he has failed. What keeps him going is the hope that one day, by doing more and more of the same, he will succeed. But the body, as I was saying, has a way of resolving these problems because it cannot take them. The sensitivity of the sensory perceptions is destroyed by whatever you are doing to free yourself from whatever you want to be free from.

The nervous system has to be very alert for the survival of this living organism. It has to be very sensitive. Your sensory perceptions have to be very sensitive. Instead of allowing them to be sensitive you have invented what is called the sensitivity of your feelings, the sensitivity of your mind, the sensitivity towards every living thing around you, the sensitivity to the feelings of everybody that is there, and this has created a neurological problem.

Society is interested in the status quo. It doesn't want to change. The only way it can maintain the status quo or the continuity is through the demand that everybody should fit into its structure, whereas every individual is unique. Nature is creating something unique all the time. It is not interested in a perfect man. It is not interested in a religious man. We have placed before man the goal or the ideal of a perfect man, a truly religious man. So anything you do to reach that goal of perfection is destroying the sensitivity of this body. It is creating violence here. It is not interested in that.

Whatever man experiences—self-awareness, self-consciousness—he has sown the seeds of his total destruction. All those religions have come out of that divisive consciousness in man. All the teachings of those teachers will inevitably destroy mankind. There is no point in reviving all those things and starting revivalistic movements. That is dead, finished. Anything that is born out of this division in your consciousness is destructive is violence. It is so because it is trying to protect not this living organism, not life, but the continuity of thought. And through that it can maintain the status quo of your culture or whatever you want to call it, the society. The problems are neurological. If you give a chance to the body it will handle all those problems, but if you try to solve them on a psychological level or on an ethical level you are not going to succeed.

Any energy that you create through thinking is destructive for the body. Energy cannot be separated from life here. It is one continuous movement. So all the energies you experience as a result of playing with all those things are not of any interest to the smooth functioning of this living organism. They are disturbing the harmonious functioning of this body, a very, very peaceful thing.

The peace there is not this inane dead silence you experience. It's like a volcano erupting all the time. That is silence. That is peace. The blood is flowing through your veins like a river. If you tried to magnify the sound of the flow of your blood you will be surprised. It's like the roar of the ocean. The sound of the beat of your heart is something. You create some funny experience called the experience of the silent mind which is ridiculous, absurd. That is the silence that is there—the roar of an ocean.

The body is not interested in your practices or silences. It has no interest in your moral dilemma or whatever you want to call it. It's not interested in your virtues or vices. As long as you practice virtues so long you will remain a man of vice. They go together. If you are lucky enough to be free from this pursuit of virtue as a goal, along with it the vice also goes out of your system. You will remain a man of violence as long as you follow some idea of becoming a non-violent, kind, soft, gentle person. A kind man—a man who is practicing kindness and virtue—is really a menace, not the violent man.

Somewhere along the line culture has put the whole thing on the wrong track by placing before man the ideal of a perfect man, the ideal of a truly religious man. The religious experience is born out of this division in his consciousness which is not its nature. Luckily, animals don't have this division in their consciousness, except the division that is essential for their survival. Man is worse than an animal, for anything that is born out of thought is destructive; not only destructive to the body but progressively destructive, moving in the direction of destroying everything that man has built for himself.

Religion is not going to save man; neither atheism nor communism nor any of those systems. Not only the teachings but the teachers themselves have sown the seeds of this violence that we have in this world. You can't put them on a pedestal and say that they should be exonerated. The man who talked of love is responsible because love and hate go together. So how can you exonerate them? Why do you want to revive religion? What for? I am not condemning any particular thing. All are responsible for that. Talk of love is one of the most absurd things. There must be two. Wherever there is a division there is this destruction. Kindness needs two. You are kind to somebody or you are kind to yourself. There is a division there in your consciousness. Anything that is born out of that division is a protective mechanism and in the long run it is destructive.

Thought is trying to protect itself. That is why it is interested in continuity. The body is not interested in protecting itself. Whatever intelligence is necessary for the survival of the body is already there. The jungle we have created through our organizations needs that intellect, the intellect that we have acquired through our studies, through our culture, through the whole lot. It has a parallel existence of its own and it is interested in a different kind of survival because there is no end to the life here. This is only an expression of life. If you and I go, life goes on.

Those lights go off but the electricity continues. Something else will come. It is not interested in man. Mankind, unfortunately, has such destructive powers which have originated in its past experience. So the talk of wanting to look at himself, to understand himself, is a divisive movement in man born out of that self-awareness. That's the foundation upon which the whole psychological structure is built.

There is a disturbance in the metabolism of the body brought about through drugs, or through meditation, or through any of those systems and techniques man has invented. You can experience the oneness of life and unity of life. Look at India, which preaches the unity of life and the oneness of life. There you have an example. They are all great metaphysicians, philosophers, everlastingly discussing these things, but it doesn't operate in the lives of the people.

Understanding is dualism. If that division is not there, there is nothing to understand. You can talk of intuition. You can talk of a thousand other things. They are all sensitized thoughts. Your understanding of anything is only for the purpose of changing what is there. You begin to think differently and you begin to experience differently but basically there is no change there.

Your wanting to understand anything is only for the purpose of bringing about a change there. And at the same time you do not want the change. That has created the neurotic situation in man, wanting two things, change and no change. That is the conflict that is there all the time. Something there determines that all is not right. That's why you want to bring about a change. And who is responsible for that demand to change? Culture, society, has placed the demand before you; namely, that you should be like that, you ought to be like that. You understand? So you have accepted that as a model for yourself.

There is no inner and outer. What I am trying to say is that there is a feeling, there is a demand, that there is something more interesting that you can do with yourself, more meaningful, more purposeful, than your existence is today. That is the demand, you see. That is why there is this restlessness. You become restless because of this drive in you which is put in there by the society or culture that makes you feel that there is something more interesting, more meaningful, more purposeful, that your life can be than what it is today. Your naturalness is destroyed by that demand which is put in there by the culture. So then, your life looks meaningless to you if that is all that you can do. You have tried to fill in that boredom with everything possible. You have all these gimmicks—yoga, meditation and all the psychology.

Your naturalness is something that you don't have to know. You just have to let that function in its own way. Your wanting to know that demands some know-how which you want from somebody. The functioning of the heart is a natural thing. The functioning of all the organs in your body is very natural. They are not for one moment asking themselves the question, “How am I functioning?” The whole living organism has this tremendous intelligence which makes it function in a very natural way.

You are not acting in a natural way because the ideal that has been placed before you by the culture has falsified the natural actions here. You are frightened of acting in a natural way because you have been told the way you should act. The things that are there are running very smoothly and mechanically. You don't have to do a thing about them. The more you try the more resistance you create.

I am not giving you another gimmick or suggesting anything. I just want you to look at this, what you are doing to yourself, not to free you from something and take you away from that because I have some new product to sell. Not at all, I have no new products to sell nor am I interested in selling anything. We just happen to be here, all of us, for some reason or the other. Ultimately, what I am emphasizing all the time is, “Look here, there is nothing to understand.” When that is understood, that there is nothing to understand, all these conversations become meaningless. So you get up and walk away once and for all. I say, “Nice meeting you and goodbye.” If the question of how to be happy is dropped, then you begin to live, you see, not bothering about happiness at all. The more you want it, the more you search for it, the more unhappy you remain. They go together, you see.

All the positive approaches that man has invented and used for centuries, they have not resulted in anything useful. They have not produced the results you have been promised. And yet, you go on and on hoping that somehow, through some miracle, you will be able to achieve your positive goals, or the goals which are placed before us through the positive approach. You keep doing it only because you have hope and it is that hope that keeps you going. Don't be caught up in this structure of thought which always suggests the positive and negative. Your goals are always positive. Since your goals have failed to give the desired results, you have begun to look at these things and approach them in a negative way. The positive and negative approaches function only in the field of thought.

Your positive approach so far has not given you the desired results and I am telling you why. I am telling you why you are stuck where you are stuck. But immediately you turn around and say, "Your approach is negative." It is not at all negative. I am presenting the other side to neutralize your argument, not to win you over to my point of view or to stress the negative approach to problems. Your goal being a positive goal, no matter what approach you adopt it is a positive approach. You may call it a negative approach but it is still a positive approach. So you must be very clear about the goal. What I am trying to emphasize is that the goal must go.

The goal which you have placed before yourself has no meaning at all because it has resulted only in struggle, pain and sorrow. You are using will, as I said a while ago, and the will has a certain limitation. You can't use it beyond a certain limit. The use of your will and the use of your effort gives you a sort of additional energy to tackle these problems and to face these problems but actually it is limited in its scope. The energy that you produce is only a frictional energy. The will creates friction and that friction gives you some sort of energy but that energy cannot last long and so you are back again in square one.

All civilizations, all cultures, place before you a goal, whether material or spiritual. There are ways and means of achieving your material goals but even in this respect there is a lot of pain, there is a lot of suffering. And you have superimposed on that what is called a spiritual goal. Christianity, for example, is built on the foundation of suffering as a means to reach your goal. What you are left with is only the suffering and you make a great big thing out of suffering. And yet, you are not anywhere near the goal, whatever is the nature of your goal, whereas in the material world the goal is something tangible.

The instrument which you are using to achieve your material goal does produce certain results. By using that more and more you can achieve the desired results but there is no guarantee. The instrument which you are using is limited in its scope. It is applicable only in this area. So the instrument which you are using to achieve your so-called spiritual goals is the same instrument. You do not realize that all the spiritual goals that are superimposed on your so-called material goals are born out of your fantasy because you have divided life into material and spiritual. It doesn't matter what instrument you use to achieve your goal. Whether it is material or spiritual it is exactly the same.

I want you to be very clear about the goal. What do you want? It is not the want that is wrong but the only way you can achieve your material or spiritual goals is through an instrument. What I am suggesting is that the only instrument you have is thinking. See, one wants to be a millionaire, and a millionaire wants to be a billionaire. That is the goal. A happy man would never want to be happy. He wants to be more and more happy or he wants to be permanently happy.

Sure, you are happy sometimes and you are unhappy some other times. So you want pleasures and you want those pleasures to be permanent. And at the same time, you also know that the so-called demand for pleasure, temporary or otherwise, is giving you pain as well. The goal of every person in this world is exactly the same. What he wants is to have pleasure, not pain—to be happy, not unhappy. What he is actually struggling and striving hard for is to achieve this impossible goal of having one without the other.

If you achieve all the goals you have placed before yourself—success, money, name and fame, position or power—you are happy. In this process, you are struggling hard. You are putting a lot of will and effort into that. As long as you succeed, you have no problems at all. You cannot always succeed. You know all that but there is somehow the hope that it will be possible for you to always succeed. You are frustrated because you find that you cannot always succeed yet there is still hope. Whether it is for material goals or spiritual goals, the demand is to succeed in your efforts to reach, attain or accomplish whatever goals you have placed before yourself.

The body cannot take any sensation, be it pleasurable or painful, for long. It will destroy the sensitivity of the sensory perceptions and the sensitivity of the nervous system. The moment you recognize a particular sensation as a pleasurable sensation, naturally there is a demand to make that pleasurable sensation last longer. So every sensation, depending upon the intensity of that sensation, which is plagued by you to invest it with more intensity or less intensity, has a limited life of its own.

The demand comes only when you separate yourself from that pleasurable sensation and begin to think of how you can extend the limits of the pleasurable sensation or the moments of happiness. Your thinking has turned that particular demand to make this pleasurable sensation last longer than its natural duration into a problem. It has turned that into a problem for the functioning of this body and by so doing it has created a neurological problem. It is doing everything possible to absorb that, whereas your thinking makes it impossible for this body to handle that in its own way for the simple reason that you are trying to solve those problems within the field of your religious or psychological approaches.

Actually, those problems are neurological problems and if the body is left alone to handle them in its own way it will do a better job than your trying to solve them on psychological or religious levels. All the solutions that we have been offered and which we have been adopting for centuries have not done any good except to give us a little bit of comfort to help you bear the pain. When this understanding dawns on you, then you will realize that the energy that is there in the body, which is the manifestation of life or expression of life, handles everything in a tremendously easier way than the frictional thinking which you are generating through your ideas of how to handle these problems.

You are creating the problems but actually you are not looking at them at all. You are not dealing with them. You are more interested in solutions than the problems. That makes it difficult for you to look at the problem. I am suggesting that, “Look here, you don't have any problems.”

You are not interested in solving the problem because that will put an end to you. You want the problems to remain. You want the hunger to remain because if you are not hungry you will not seek this food from all these holy men. What they are giving you are some scraps, bits of food, and you are satisfied. Even assuming for a moment that he can give you the whole loaf of bread, which he cannot do, he will only promise to keep it here hidden somewhere. Bit by bit he gives you and thereby you are not dealing with the problem of hunger. But you are more interested in getting a bit more from that fellow who is promising you a solution rather than dealing with your problem of hunger. You are more interested in getting some more crumbs from that fellow.

You never look at the problem. What is the problem? Anger, for example—where is that anger? Can you separate the anger from the functioning of this body? It's like a wave in the ocean. Can you separate the waves from the ocean? You can sit there and wait until the waves subside so that you can have a swim in the ocean, like King Canute, who sat there for years and years hoping that those waves in the ocean would disappear so that he could have a swim in a calm ocean. That will never happen. You can sit there and learn all about these waves, the high tide and the low tide. The scientists have given us all kinds of explanations but the knowledge about that is not going to be of any help to you. You are not really dealing with anger at all.

Where do you feel the anger, first of all? Where do you feel all these so-called problems you want to be free from—the desires, the burning desires? The desire burns you. Hunger burns you. So the solutions you have or the means of fulfilling them is very simple and makes it impossible for that to burn itself out in your system. Where do you feel the fear? You feel it here in the pit of your stomach. It is part of the body. The body cannot take those high and low tides of energy that are there in your body. So you are wanting to suppress them for some spiritual or social reasons. You are not going to succeed.

Anger is energy, a tremendous outburst of energy, and by destroying that energy, through any means, you are destroying the very expression of life itself. It becomes a problem only when you try to do something with that energy. When it is absorbed by the system you will not do the things that you think you will do if the anger is left alone. You are actually not dealing with the anger but the frustration, or avoiding such a situation which has resulted in clumsiness in your relationships or in your understanding of yourself.

You want to be prepared to meet such situations as and when they arise in the future. The instrument which you are using has been used by you every time there is an outburst of anger yet you have not succeeded in freeing yourself from the anger. You won't come into the possession of anything extraordinary other than this instrument which you have been using all these years, and at the same time you hope that somehow this very thing will help you to be free from the anger tomorrow.

Why are you killing people, thousands of people, for no fault of theirs? Why are you limiting something which is natural but are not condemning the nations that are dropping bombs on helpless people? Do you call them sane? Both of them have sprung from the same source. As long as you do anything to control your anger you will indulge in such atrocious things and justify them because that is the only way to protect your way of life and your way of thinking. These two things go together. Why do you justify that? That is insane. He is not hurting you but he is threatening your way of life. There is a danger of that man taking away what you consider to be your precious things. This idea of stopping this man from acting when there is an outburst of anger is exactly the same. The religious man has found that an angry man will be an antisocial man.

As long as he practices virtue, so long he will remain an antisocial man and he will act out of anger. When that goal that the society has placed before you, when that same goal which you adopted for yourself as an ideal goal to be practiced, is finished for you, you will not harm anybody, either individually or collectively as a nation. You have to deal with the anger. You are dealing with something totally unrelated to the anger. Not even once do you let that anger burn itself out within the framework where it originates and functions. Having some therapy of hitting your pillows, hitting this, that and the other, is just a joke. That does not free the man from the anger once and for all. It will appear again. So what do you do?

You are not dealing with anger. You will never deal with this anger at all as long as you are interested in finding out a way of not hitting the person who is coming with a knife. You have to protect yourself. That is essential. I am not saying for a moment that your anger makes it impossible for you to deal with that situation. Don't say that it's non-violence or you should not hurt somebody else. He is hurting you. Even in the Bible it is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You never practice that. Of course, they practice it on a larger scale but in daily life they say it is something terrible to do. I don't see any problem with that at all.

There is no point in discussing hypothetical situations for the simple reason that the person who is hopping mad with anger, burning with anger, will not seek and discuss the question of anger. That's the time to deal with those things, when you are really burning with anger, burning with desire, burning with all those things that you want to be free from. Otherwise, it becomes like a classroom discussion—somebody talking on the anatomy of anger, the anatomy of how the anger arises or the anatomy of love. It's too ridiculous. Or they offer solutions which don't work when there is a real situation. That's the reason why I don't discuss all these things.

No problem, there's no problem for the individual. When he's mad with anger, that's the time for him to deal with it. It stops the thinking. There is no way of separating yourself from the problem. That's what you are trying to do. That is what I mean by saying that you are putting anger out there and trying to look and deal with it as if it is an object outside of you. When you separate yourself, the only result is exactly what you fear would happen. That is inevitable. So you have no way of controlling that at all. Is there anything that you can do to prevent this separation from what you are? It is a horrible thing to realize that you are yourself anger and whatever you do to stop that, prevent it or do something about it is false. That will be tomorrow or in your next life, not now. So that is what you are.

You are not a spiritual man or a religious man. You can imagine that you are a religious man because you are trying to control your anger, or trying to be free from anger, or trying to be less and less angry as the years go by. All that makes you feel that you are not that vicious man whom you avoid. You are no different. You are not any more spiritual than the people whom you condemn. Tomorrow you are going to be a marvelous person. You will be free from anger.

What do you want me to do in the meantime, admire you? Because you have put on the label that you are a spiritual man or you have put on fancy robes? What do you want me to do? For that you want me to admire you? There is nothing there to be admired because you are as vicious as anybody else in this world. Condemning that has no meaning. Adopting a posture which is totally unrelated to what is happening there has no meaning either.

The religious has no meaning when you are pushed into a corner. Then you will behave exactly like anybody else. So this culture—your values, religious or otherwise—haven't touched a bit there. If man is freed from this moral dilemma which has been the basis of the whole thinking of man then he will live like a human being, not a spiritual man, not a religious man. A religious man is no good for the society. A kind man is a menace to the society, one who is practicing kindness as a fine art. All the destruction has come out of them, one who talks of love and one who talks about non-violence. All the destructive forces originated in the thinking of that man.

We are all the inheritors of that culture. We cannot do anything but that. You are freed from the burden of this, the falseness of the whole culture, that's all that I am saying. Individually, you are freed from the totality of all the absurdities that have been imposed upon us. So we are here. We are the inheritors of all that violent culture. Our culture is nothing but to teach man how to kill and how to be killed, whether it is in the name of religion, or in the name of political ideology, or in the name of patriotism, or anything you want. I can't be anything different. That is why I said that the whole thing is moving in the direction of the total annihilation of man. Such things have set in motion forces of destruction which no power can stop.

No power, no god, can stop it because those gods themselves have set in motion these forces of destruction. You see that now happening. When the cave man used the jawbone of an ass to kill his neighbor there were chances of survival for others.

The same cave man who lives there in the White House will set in motion, will let loose forces of destruction, that may completely wipe out every form of life on this planet. It has all come out of that thinking of the man who taught religion, who wanted to establish love on the face of this earth. And see what has been made out of it!

You can stop it in you. Free yourself from that social structure that is operating in you without becoming antisocial, without becoming a reformer, without becoming anti-this, anti-that. You can throw the whole thing out of your system and free yourself from the burden of this culture, for yourself and by yourself. Whether it has any usefulness for society or not is not your concern. If there is one individual who walks free you don't have any more the choking feeling of what this horrible culture has done to you. It's neither East nor West. It's all the same. Human nature is exactly the same. There's no difference.

You are only interested in what to do. How can we stop? Individually, there isn't a damn thing that you can do. When that is understood what is there expresses itself. The intelligence that is there can function much more effectively than all the solutions that man has come out with through his thinking which is the result of millions of years. The ideal that we have placed before us, the perfect man, is just a myth. Such a man doesn't exist at all. The ideal man doesn't exist. It is just a word, an idea. All your life you are trying to become that ideal man and what you are left with is misery, suffering and hope.

Culture has put the demand in you that is pushing you in the direction of wanting to change yourself into something. That is what the culture has done. If you want to do something, “Boy, look here, watch your step.” That is what they are doing. The second movement that comes, that is the society, “Watch your step,” it says. So that has put fear in you. Then at the same time it talks of freeing yourself from fear and courage. That is only for the purpose of using you as a pawn in maintaining the status quo of society.

That is why it is teaching courage, it is teaching fearlessness, so that it can use you to maintain the continuity of the society. You are a part of that. That is why every time you want to act what is there is fear and the impossibility of acting.

The society is not out there, the culture is not out there, and unless you are free from that you cannot act. Man is not able to act because he is all the time thinking in terms of the freedom to act. “How can I be free to act?” That's all that you are concerned about, the freedom. But you are not acting that freedom. The demand for the freedom to act is preventing the action, which is neither social nor antisocial.

You want to bring about a change in yourself. The change is the demand of the society so that you can become a part of that and maintain the continuity of the social structure. When the demand for bringing about any change in you ceases then the concern to change the world around you also comes to an end, ipso facto. You are living in a world of your own. You have created a world of your own experiences and you are trying to project it onto the world. You have no way of experiencing the reality of the world at all. We have to accept all these things as valid because they are workable. They help us to function in this world, to communicate intelligently on that level.

What I am suggesting is that there is no such thing as spirituality at all. If you superimpose what you call spirituality on what is called material life then you create problems for yourself. Because you see growth and development in the material world around you, you are applying that to this so-called spiritual life also. There is only one life. This is a material life and that other has no relevance. Wanting to change your material life into that so-called religious pattern given to you, placed before you by these religious people, is destroying the possibility of your living in harmony and accepting the reality of this material world exactly the way it is. That is responsible for your pain, for your suffering, for your sorrow. It is a constant struggle on your part to be like that and to chase something that does not exist and that has no meaning at all. That gives you the feeling that doing is all that is important for you, not the actual achievement of that. You are moving farther and farther away. The more effort you put into it the more you feel good.