There is no self, there is no I, there is no spirit, there is no soul and there is no mind. That knocks off the whole list and you have no way of finding out what you are left with. You may very well ask me the question, “Why do you go on telling people about the way you are functioning?” It is only to emphasize that we have been for centuries using some instrument, that is, thinking or mind or whatever you want to call it to free ourselves from the whole of what you call the self and all kinds of things. That is what the whole quest of spirit is all about. But once it dawns on you that there is nothing to be free from then these questions don't arise at all. How that dawned on me I have no way of finding out for myself.
The answers I give are only to emphasize that what we are left with is the functioning of the living organism. How it is functioning is all that I am trying to put across, emphasize and overemphasize all the time. My interest is to somehow make you see that the whole attempt on your part to understand what you are left with is a lost battle. Even that statement cannot be experienced by what is left there. When once the whole thing is flushed out of your system, the statement, "We are left with only the physical body and the universe”—that statement also cannot stand any more.
The more the questions you throw at me the more there is a need to emphasize the physical aspect of our existence, namely, that there is nothing to what we have been made to believe. All our problems have arisen because of our acceptance that it is possible for us to understand the reality of the world or the reality of our existence. What I am saying is that you have no way of experiencing anything that you do not know. So anything that you experience through the help of your knowledge is fruitless. It is a lost battle.
That is the reason why I say that the instrument which we are using to understand the reality of our existence and the reality of the world around us is not part of this mechanism that is there. That is the reason why I say thoughts are not self-generated and are not spontaneous. There are no thoughts there even now. If you want to find out whether there is any such thing as thought, the very question which we are posing to ourselves, namely, "Is there a thought?," is born out of the assumption that there is a thought there. But what you will find there is all about thought and not thought. All about thought is what is put in there by the culture. That is put in by the people who are telling us that it is very essential for you to free yourself from whatever you are trying to free yourself from through that instrument.
My interest is to emphasize that that is not the instrument and there is no other instrument. And when once this hits you, dawns upon you, that thought is not the instrument and that there is no other instrument, then there is no need for you to find out if any other instrument is necessary. There is no need for any other instrument. This very same structure that we are using, the instrument which we are using, has in a very ingenious way invented all kinds of things like intuition, right insight, right this, that and the other. And to say that through this very insight we have come to understand something is the stumbling block. All insights however extraordinary they may be are worthless because it is thought that has created what we call insight and through that it is maintaining its continuity and status quo.
I question consciousness because what we call consciousness is memory. You become conscious of something through the help of the knowledge you have and that knowledge is locked up in the memory. So the whole talk of the subconscious, unconscious, levels of consciousness and all that is the ingenious invention of the thinking mechanism. Through this cleverness, inventiveness, it maintains its continuity.
Awareness has no meaning to me because awareness is not an instrument to be used to understand anything, much less to bring about a change there. First of all, there is nothing there to be changed. Since there is nothing there to be changed, whether you use awareness or any other instrument to bring about a change is irrelevant. Awareness can never be separated from the activity of the brain. That is the reason why I always describe what is happening here in physical terms.
What is there is only the reflection of this object on the retina. Even this statement cannot be experienced by me because the stimulus and response are one unitary movement. The moment you say there is awareness, there is already a division. That is the only way you can continue, otherwise you are coming to an end. The you as you know yourself, the you as you experience yourself—that you is the identity there. Through the constant demand for using memory it maintains its continuity. If that you is not there you don't know what will happen.
Thinking cannot help us to solve living problems. There is no way we can use that to solve human problems. That is why it has failed to solve our problems. It has not touched anything there. All our beliefs have not touched anything there. We don't know what we would do in a given situation. You can say that you are going to be a nonviolent man but what you would do in a given situation you would never know. The demand to be prepared for all future actions and situations is the cause of our problems. Every situation is so different and our preparedness to meet that situation with this knowledge we have of answering and dealing with such situations cannot help us.
It is not a challenge. The inadequacy of using what you have, preparing yourself, and the question of how to deal with the situation, are absent here. It ceases to be a challenge then. That is why I say there are no problems there. We create the problems. If the solutions we are offered by those people are really not the solutions you really don't have a problem. But the fact of the matter is if you do not have a problem you create a problem. You cannot live without problems.
This separateness from the totality of things around us and the idea that the whole thing is created for our benefit and that we are created for a grander and nobler purpose than all the other species on this planet are the causes of this destruction. This powerful use of thought is what is destructive. Thought is a self-protective mechanism, so anything that is born out of thought is destructive.
Whether it is religious thought or scientific thought or political thought, all of them are destructive. But we are not ready to accept that it is thought that is our enemy. We don't know how to function in this world without the use of thought. You can invent all kinds of things and try to free yourself from this stranglehold of thought but there is no way we can accept the fact that that is not the instrument to help us to function sanely and intelligently in this world.
Thought is a self-perpetuating mechanism. It controls, molds, shapes our ideas and actions. Idea and action, they are one and the same. All our actions are born out of ideas. Our ideas are thoughts passed on to us from generation to generation. Thought is not the instrument to help us to live in harmony with the life around us. That is why you create all these ecological problems, problems of pollution and the problem of possibly destroying ourselves with the most destructive weapons that we have invented. So, there is no way out. You may say that I am a pessimist, that I am a cynic or that I am this, that and the other. But I hope one day we will realize that the mistakes we have made will destroy everything. The planet is not in danger. We are in danger.
Because you know in a way that what you know of yourself is coming to an end there. You have been through so many experiences. You have achieved so many things. You have attained and accomplished so many things. "Is all that coming to an end, leaving behind nothing?" So naturally we create something beyond. You are not separate from that illusion. You are the illusion. If one illusion goes it is always replaced with another illusion. Why? Because the ending of the illusion is the ending of you. That is the death. The ending of belief is the ending of the you that is there.
We think we know a lot more than this body. We think that we know what is good for that body and that is why we are creating problems for it. It knows what it wants to know. It doesn't want to learn anything from us. If we understand this simple relationship that thought and the body have then probably we will allow the body to function and use thought only for functional purposes. Thought is functional in value and it cannot help us to achieve any of the goals we have placed before us or what the culture has placed before us.
Your value system is the one that is responsible for the human malady, human tragedy, forcing everybody to fit into that model. You may not agree with me, but when we talk about the quest for happiness it is no different from any other sensual activity. As a matter of fact, all experiences, however extraordinary they may be, are in the area of sensuality. That is one major problem that we are facing today.
Somewhere along the line the human species experienced this self-consciousness for the first time and it separated the human species from the rest of the species on this planet. I don't even know if there is any such thing as evolution but we are made to believe that there is such a thing. And it was at that time perhaps that thought took its birth. But thought, in its birth, in its origin, in its content, in its expression, and in its action is very fascist.
When I use the word fascist I use it not in the political sense but to mean that thought controls and shapes our thinking and our actions. So it is a very protective mechanism. It has no doubt helped us to be what we are today. It has helped us to create our high-tech and technology. It has made our life very comfortable. It has also made it possible for us to discover the laws of nature. But thought is a very protective mechanism and is interested in its own survival. At the same time, thought is opposed fundamentally to the functioning of this living organism.
We are made to believe that there is such a thing as mind but there is no such thing as your mind or my mind. Society or culture or whatever you want to call it has created us solely and wholly for the purpose of maintaining its own continuity and status quo. At the same time, it has also created the idea that there is such a thing as the individual. But actually, there is a conflict between the two—the idea of the individual and the impossibility of functioning as an individual separate and distinct from the totality of man's thoughts and experiences.
Here at this point I would like to emphasize that thoughts are not self-generated and spontaneous. I would go one step further and ask, "Is there any such a thing as thought?" The very question arises because we assume that there is such a thing as thought and that we can separate ourselves from thought and look at it. But when we look at what we call thought, what we see is about thought and not thought itself. “What is thought?" The question arises only because of the assumption that there is such a thing as thought.
We use what we call thought to achieve our spiritual or material goals. We may consider the spiritual goals as higher. The culture in which we are functioning places spiritual goals on a higher level than the materialistic goals. But the instrument which we are using is matter which is thought. Thought to me is matter. Therefore, all our spiritual goals are materialistic in their value. And this is the conflict that is going on there. In this process, the totality of man's experiences created what we call a separate identity and a separate mind.
But actually, if you want to experience anything, be it your own body or your own experiences, you have no way of experiencing them without the use of the knowledge that is passed on to us. In other words, I would say that thought is memory. But we have been made to believe that human beings are created for a nobler and grander purpose than the other species on this planet and it is that belief that is responsible for our thinking that the whole creation is created for the benefit of man.
Everything that is born out of thought is destructive, anything that we discover. The laws of nature or whatever you call it are used by us only for destructive purposes. And it is true that we have discovered quite a few of nature's laws and the theories are constantly changing. Thought is not the instrument for achieving anything other than the goals set before us by our culture or society or whatever you want to call it. The basic problem we have to face today is this. The cultural input, or what society has placed before us as the goal for all of us to reach and attain, is the enemy of this living organism. Thought can only create problems. It cannot help us to solve any.
What I am talking about is not a thoughtless state. Even the invention of what is called a thoughtless state, placed before us by many spiritual teachers as a goal to be reached, is created by thought so that it can, by pursuing what it calls a thoughtless state, maintain its own continuity. So whatever we experience in this process of achieving the goal of a thoughtless state strengthens and fortifies the very thing that we are trying to be free from.
It is thought that has invented the ideas of cause and effect. There may not be any such thing as a cause at all. Every event is an individual and independent event. We link up all these events and try to create a story of our lives but actually every event is an independent event. If we accept the fact that every event is an independent event in our lives it creates a tremendous problem of maintaining what we call identity. And identity is the most important factor in our lives.
We are able to maintain this identity through the constant use of memory which is also thought. This constant use of memory or identity or whatever you call it is consuming a tremendous amount of energy and it leaves us with no energy to deal with the problems of our living. Is there any way that we can free ourselves from the identity? Through dialectical thinking about thinking itself we are only sharpening that instrument. All philosophies help us only to sharpen this instrument.
Thought is very essential for us to survive in this world but it cannot help us in achieving the goals that we have placed before ourselves. The goals are unachievable through the help of thought. The quest for happiness is impossible because there is no such thing as permanent happiness. There are moments of happiness and there are moments of unhappiness but the demand to be in a permanent state of happiness is the enemy of this body.
This body is interested in maintaining its sensitivity of the sensory perceptions and also the sensitivity of the nervous system. That is very essential for the survival of this body. If we use that instrument of thought for trying to achieve the impossible goal of permanent happiness the sensitivity of this body is destroyed. Therefore, the body is rejecting all that we are interested in—permanent happiness and permanent pleasure. So, we are not going to succeed in that attempt to be in a permanent state of happiness.
Through a repetitive process we are sharpening that instrument but we are using tremendous amounts of energy in this process. If the use of thought is limited to achieve only what we consider to be materialistic values and not our spiritual goals, what is it that is not possible for us in order to function sanely and intelligently? It does not mean that I am teaching a materialistic philosophy or any such thing. Thought is not intended for achieving spiritual goals or even to find out the significance, meaning or purpose of life or to be used for the quest for permanence or permanent pleasure.
A guru is one who tells you to throw away all the crutches that we have been made to believe are essential for our survival. The true guru tells you, “Throw them away and don't replace them. You can walk and if you fall you will rise and walk again.” Such is the man whom we consider or even tradition considers to be the real guru and not those who are selling those shoddy pieces of goods in the market place today. It is a business It has become a holy business to people.
I am not condemning anything but as long as you depend upon somebody for solving your problems so long you remain helpless. And this helplessness is exploited by the people who actually do not have the answers to your problems but they give you some sort of a comforting. People are satisfied with and fall for this kind of thing instead of dealing with the problems by themselves and for themselves. There is no need for me to free you or enlighten you because to do that I must have an image of myself and in relationship to that an image of you.
To be an individual and to be yourself you don't have to do a thing. Culture demands that you should be something other than what you are. What a tremendous amount of energy we waste trying to become that! If that energy is released what is it that we can't do? How simple it would be for every one of us to live in this world! It is so simple.
The uniqueness of every individual cannot express itself because of the stranglehold of the experiences of others. After all, you don't exist, and I don't exist. You and I have been created by the totality of those experiences, and we have to use them in order to function sanely and intelligently in this world.
It is something like, to use my favorite phrases, lightning hitting you, a jolt of lightning hitting you, and you don't know what you are left with. You have no way of finding out for yourself and by yourself what has happened to you. Has anything happened to me at all? But one thing I can say with certainty is that the very thing that I searched for all my life was shattered to pieces.
The goals that I had set for myself—self-realization, God-realization, transformation, radical or otherwise, or even enlightenment—were all false and there was nothing there to be realized and nothing to be found there. The very demand to be free from anything, even from the physical needs of the body just disappeared and I was left with nothing. Therefore, whatever comes out of me now depends upon what you draw out of me.
I have actually and factually nothing to communicate because there is no communication possible at any level. The only instrument we have is the intellect. We know in a way that this instrument has not helped us to understand anything. So when once it dawns on you that this is not the instrument and that there is no other instrument with which to understand anything you are left with this puzzling situation that there is nothing to understand. In a way it would be highly presumptuous on my part to sit on a platform or accept invitations like this and try to tell people that I have something to say, that I have come into something extraordinary which nobody has come into.
But what I am left with is something extraordinary; extraordinary not in the sense that it has been possible for me through any effort or volition of mine but in the sense that everything that every man thought, felt and experienced before is thrown out of my system. So you can say that it is indeed a courageous thing that has happened to me. But I cannot tell people that through courage you can put yourself into that kind of situation.
It is very difficult to tell people how it all happened to me. They are only interested in finding out how it happened to me because their only interest is to find out the cause, find out what led me into this. But when I tell them that it is acausal it is very difficult for them to understand and accept it. Their interest is to find out a cause and make it happen to them.
You see, when I was listening to J. Krishnamurti it suddenly dawned on me, “Why the hell have I been listening to this man? From his description I feel that I am in the same state as that man." I said to myself that I was in the same state as that man, assuming for the moment that he was in the same state that he was describing and in the same state that the great spiritual teachers were in. "What the hell have I been doing all my life? Why the hell am I sitting here listening to him?"
I then walked out with just one single thought whirling in me, as it were, like in a whirlpool. "How do you know that you are in the same state?" I understand that the question implies that I was familiar with the descriptions of various states. I had tried to simulate them in me and experience them and that is all there is to it. So this question went on and on. But suddenly this question also disappeared. I said to myself that there is no reason for me to feel grateful to anybody, to express my thanks to anybody.
Whatever has happened to me has happened despite listening to this teacher or that teacher or doing this, that or the other. But if I say all this it is something which is not very interesting to people. They want to know and I tell them that I myself do not know. I cannot look at myself and tell myself that I am an enlightened man, that I am a free man, that tremendous changes have taken place in me. So I use this phrase which we very often hear on the commercials. It is not something like before and after the wash. No washing has helped me to reach anywhere. It is just a happening. I still have to use the word happening because there is no other way that I can communicate this and give a feel of this to anybody else.
What is reported in the so-called story of my life is a garbled version of what I actually felt at that time. Anyway, anything I say today is irrelevant because I don't know what I felt at that particular moment and there is no way I can relive that experience from here. I said to myself, “What is it that he has? If there is anybody in this world who can receive it, it is I." I said this to myself and walked out. That, in a way, decided another phase of my life.
The old traditional approach to the whole question of enlightenment was thrown out of my system although I continued to read books on religion, studied philosophy, psychology and science. I tried to find out answers from those people who have not been contaminated by the traditional teachings. I got interested in Western philosophy and science and tried to find the answer to my basic question.
My basic question was one question, “Where is this mind that we are so concerned about, that we are trying to understand, study and change? Why do we talk of a total change in the makeup of the mind? I don't see any such thing as mind there at all, let alone a transformation or mutation of the mind." This question always intrigued me and I questioned everybody about the mind. I tried to get answers from every area of human thought but nothing helped me to find out the answers to those questions. At that time I didn't have the certainty that I have today.
The certainty I have today that there is no mind is something which I cannot transmit to anybody however hard I may try because the very thing which we are using to communicate is in jeopardy and you are not ready to accept that possibility. They made a tremendous structure out of that philosophical thought. They talked of the void. They talked of emptiness. You know, the whole Buddhist philosophy is built on the foundation of that no mind. Yet they have created tremendous techniques of freeing themselves from the mind. All the Zen techniques of meditation try to free you from the mind.
The very instrument that we are using to free ourselves from the thing called mind is the mind. Mind is nothing other than what you are doing to free yourself from the mind. But when it once dawns on you by some strange chance or miracle that the instrument that you are using to understand everything is not the instrument and that there is no other instrument, it hits you like a jolt of lightning.
Do you think these frontiers are going to disappear? They are not. Those who have entrenched themselves, those who have had the monopoly of all the world's resources so far and for so long, if they are threatened to be dislodged, what they would do is anybody's guess. All the destructive weapons that we have today are here only to protect that monopoly.
But I am sure that the day has come for people to realize that all the weapons that we have built so far are redundant and that they cannot be used anymore. We have arrived at a point where you cannot destroy your adversary without destroying yourself. So it is that kind of terror and not the love and brotherhood that have been preached for centuries that will help us to live together.
Until this percolates to the level of human consciousness in the sense that man sees that he cannot destroy his neighbor without destroying himself I don't think it will help. I am sure that we have come to that point. Whenever and wherever you have an edge over your adversary or your neighbor you will still continue to exercise what you have been holding on to for centuries. So how are you going to solve the problem? All utopias have failed.
The whole mischief originated in the religious thinking of man. Now there is no use in blaming the religious thinking of man, because all the political ideologies, even your legal structures, are the warty outgrowth of the religious thinking of man. It is not so easy to flush out the whole series of experiences which have been accumulated through centuries and which are based upon the religious thinking of man. There is a tendency to replace one belief with another belief, one illusion with another illusion. That is all we can do.
Anything that is born out of thought is destructive. You may cover it up with all wonderful and romantic phrases, “Love thy neighbor as thyself". Don't forget that in the name of "Love thy neighbor as thyself", millions and millions of people have died, more than in all the recent wars put together. But we now have come to a point where we can realize that violence is not the answer, that it is not the way to solve human problems. So terror seems to be the only way. I am not talking of terrorists blowing up churches, temples and all that kind of thing but the terror that if you try to destroy your neighbor you will possibly destroy yourself. That realization has to come down to the level of the common man.
This is the way the human organism is functioning too. Every cell is interested in its own survival. It knows in some way that its survival depends upon the survival of the cell that is next to it. It is for this reason that there is a sort of cooperation between the cells. That is how the whole organism can survive. It is not interested in utopias. It is not interested in your wonderful religious ideas. It is not interested in peace, bliss, beatitude or anything. Its only interest is to survive. That is all it is interested in. The survival of a cell depends upon the survival of the cell next to it. And your survival and my survival depend upon the survival of our neighbor.
As long as there is division, as long as there is a separation within you, so long do you maintain that separation around you. When everything fails, you use the last card, the trump in the pack of cards, and call it love. But it is not going to help us and it has not helped us at all. Even religion has failed to free man from violence and from ten other different things that it is trying to free us from. You see, it is not a question of trying to find new concepts, new ideas, new thoughts and new beliefs.
The human being modeled after the perfect being has totally failed. That has not touched anything there. Your value system is the one that is responsible for the human malady, the human tragedy—forcing everybody to fit into that model. You cannot do anything by destroying the value system because you replace one value system with another. Even those who rebelled against religion like those in the communist countries have themselves created another kind of value system. Revolution does not mean the end of anything. It is only a revaluation of our value system. The only answer to this human problem, if there is any answer, is not to be found through new ideas, new concepts or new ideologies but through bringing about a change in the chemistry of the human body.
Do you really think that there is freedom in the United States? What does that mean to a starving man—freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom of the press? He does not know how to read the newspapers and is not interested in them. At least in the communist systems they fed, clothed and sheltered people, though that is now being denied to them in those nations. There is more unemployment than ever before in the Western countries. I don't think this is the model for the whole of mankind.
The whole system depends upon the exploitation of the resources of the world for the benefit of the Western nations. These laws that you are talking about are always backed by force. Ultimately, it is the force that counts. We all agree to submit ourselves to the decision of the judge. If you don't want to submit to them the only recourse you have is to use violence. So all the gangsters get together and create a legal structure which is favorable to them. That they enforce on others through the help of violence, through the help of force. As long as it is advantageous to you, you talk of law. When the law fails, you use force.
The demand to understand and bring about a change in you is the one that is responsible for the demand to understand the world and then bring about a change in the world. They are one and the same. That is why you are interested in listening to others. Through that listening you think you will be able to bring about a change in you and then also a change in the world around you. Basically, there is no difference between what is here and what is out there in the world. There is no way you can draw a line of demarcation.
One thing that I always emphasize is that it is culture that has created us all for the sole purpose of maintaining its status quo and its continuity. So, in that sense, I do not see that there are any individuals at all. At the same time, the same culture has given us the hope that there is something that you can do to become an individual and that there is such a thing as free will. Actually, there is no free will at all.
The most important thing for us to realize is that thought is a very destructive weapon and that thought is our enemy. However, we are not ready to accept the fact that thought can only create problems but cannot help us to solve them. My point is that there is nothing there to be changed. What these gurus in the marketplace are doing is to sell you some ice packs and provide you with some comforters. But when you come to me you find it very difficult for the simple reason that I do not offer you any solutions to your problems.
My interest is to point out that there are actually no problems, and what we are saddled with are only solutions. Also, we are not ready to accept the fact that the solutions that these people have been offering us for centuries are not really the solutions. If they were really the solutions, the problems would have been solved long ago. If they are not the solutions, and if there are no other solutions, then there are no problems to be solved.
I am afraid that the rise of Islam, not only in the Moslem world but also in Russia and China, is going make it a formidable force. Once this cry of holy war, jihad, spreads around we will not know how to tackle that problem. I am not singing a doomsday song. That is what you are going to face very soon. Islam is going to be a formidable force in the world. I don't know I am not a prophet, I cannot say anything. But like anybody else I can hazard, if I may use the word, a view of the shape of things to come. I don't know for sure and nobody knows, for that matter, what will happen.
There is one thing that I want to say, emphasize, and overemphasize—that there is no way we can reverse the whole thing. We are heading towards a disaster. Man must realize, and there seems to be no hope of his coming to terms with the reality of the situation, that thought and all that is born out of our thinking are the enemy of mankind and there is nothing to replace that. Religious revivalism is not really the answer.
I personally feel that the basic question which we all should ask ourselves is, "What kind of a human being you want on this planet?" Unfortunately, culture, whether it is Oriental or Occidental, has placed before us the model of a perfect being. That model is patterned after the behavior of the religious thinkers of mankind who have done more harm than good.
Everything that we are confronting today is a product of the religious thinking of man but that thinking has no answers for the future of mankind. So if you want you have to find answers within the framework of the systems that have failed to deliver the goods. I don't think religious thinking has any answers for our problems today.
Nobody knows anything about life and there is no point in defining it. Anything that we say of life is speculation on our part. What we are trying to understand or experience, life or whatever, is through the help of the knowledge we have of it but thought is something dead. It is something that can never touch anything living. The moment it tries to touch life and capture it, contain it and give expression to it, it is destroyed by the living quality of life. What we mean by life, however, is not actually life but living.
Living is our relationship with the people around us, the life around us, with the whole world around us, and that is all we know. That relationship is actually not a basic relationship but a relationship that is born out of our demand to become one with life. So anything we do, any attempt we make to become one with it, is fruitless because there is no way we can establish any relationship with the life around us.
I am not for a moment assuming or emphasizing that we are not part of it. We are part of it but the most important question which we should ask ourselves is, "What is it that separates us from the life around us and what is it that maintains the separateness or division, if I may use the word, all the time?" Actually, what divides us is thought. Thought is matter but that matter cannot stay there for long.
The moment the matter is born it has to become part of the energy again. But this demand on our part or on the part of thought to maintain continuity is the demand that drives us to experience the same thing over and over and over again. And thus we are maintaining this superficial, artificial, non-existent duality, division there between our life and the life around us.
It is only an assumption on our part, and I would say it is a false assumption, that thoughts are spontaneous and self-generated. They are not. Thought is only a response to stimuli. The brain is not really a creator, it is just a container. The function of the brain in this body is only to take care of the needs of the physical organism and to maintain its sensitivity whereas thought, through its constant interference with sensory activity, is destroying the sensitivity of the body. That is where the conflict is.
The conflict is between the need of the body to maintain its sensitivity and the demand of thought to translate every sensation within the framework of the sensual activity. I am not condemning sensual activity. Mind or whatever you want to call it is born out of this sensuality, so all activities of the mind are sensual in their nature whereas the activity of the body is to respond to the stimuli around it. That is really the basic conflict between what you call the mind and the body. I don't think there is any such thing as mind separate from the activity of the brain.
The body is not interested in sensual activity. It is not interested in any experiences that the mind is interested in and is demanding. It is not even interested in the so-called spiritual experiences, the religious experiences like bliss, beatitude, immensity and happiness. Happiness is something which the body is not interested in. It cannot take it for long. Pleasure is one of the things that it is always rejecting. The body does not know and does not even want to know anything about happiness. Happiness is a cultural input there. Is there any such thing as happiness? I would say, no.
So the quest for happiness is a cultural input and that is the common desire that we know exists everywhere in every part of the world. That is what we all want and that want is the most important want in human beings everywhere. Happiness, if you want to use that word, is like any other sensation. The moment thought separates itself from what is called the sensation of happiness, the demand to keep that sensation going longer than its natural duration also occurs with it.
So any sensation, however extraordinary, however pleasant it may be, is rejected by the body. Keeping that sensation going longer than its duration of life is destroying the sensitivity of the sensory perceptions and sensitivity of this living organism. That is the battle that is going on there. If you do not know what happiness is you will never be unhappy.
There is no individual there at all. Culture, society or whatever you want to call it has created you and me for the sole purpose of maintaining its own continuity but at the same time we are made to believe that you have to become an individual. These two things have created this neurotic situation for us. There is no such thing as an individual and there is no such thing as freedom of action. I am not talking of a fatalistic philosophy or any such thing. It is this fact that is frustrating us.
The demand to fit ourselves into that value system is using a tremendous amount of energy and there is nothing we can do to deal with the living problems here. All the energy is being consumed by the demands of the culture or society or whatever you want to call it to fit you into the framework of that value system. In the process, we are not left with any energy to deal with the other problems. But these problems, that is, the living problems, are very simple. To survive in this world is not a difficult problem, you see. But what is demanding is the value system. Our effort to fit ourselves into that value system is consuming a tremendous amount of energy.
It is just not possible to establish any relationship with anything around you including your near and dear ones except on the level of what you can get out of the relationship. You see, the whole thing springs from this separation or isolation that human beings live in today. We are isolated from the rest of creation, the rest of life around us. We all live in individual frames. We try to establish a relationship at the level of, “What do I get out of that relationship?” We use others to try and fill this void that is created as a result of our isolation.
We always want to fill this emptiness, this void, with all kinds of relationships with people around us. That is really the problem. We have to use everything—an idea, a person, anything we can get hold of—to establish relationships with others. Without relationships we are lost and we don't see any meaning, we don't see any purpose. This is because your only interest is to create a purposeful and meaningful relationship with the individuals and the world around you. Therefore, you want to understand the reality of the world but there is nothing to understand. There is no such thing as reality at all. Anything you do to understand the reality of the world is not going to be useful, helpful or meaningful.
The living organism is like a computer with an extraordinary intelligence. But here the energy is a sort of expression of life. Energy is already there but you are all the time asking questions. These are two computers talking but you want to introduce an element which is not part of the functioning of this living organism. That is why you begin to think that there must be something different here.
You are more intelligent than I am. You see, this is something which can be measured. We have certain yardsticks in the world that say that you are more intelligent than I am. But any attempt on my part to improve my intelligence, change it, modify it, make it better, would consume tremendous amounts of energy, that is all. You see, without that what you are left with is something extraordinary. It is not interested in comparing itself with your intellect or anything. It is not a question of accepting that I am a low grade moron.
When once it is a fact that there is no movement in any direction of improving, changing or evolving into anything different or better then what is there is something extraordinary. It is unique in its own way. Every individual is unique. Nature creates perfect species, unlike religion and education which attempt to create perfect individuals.
Every human being is different, that is all I am saying. There is nobody like you anywhere in this world. I tell you, nobody! I am talking physiologically, you know. But we ignore that and try to put everybody in a common mold and create what we call the greatest common factor, all the time trying to educate them and fit them into the value system.
If that value system does not work, naturally revolutions take place. The whole idea of restructuring is nothing but a revaluation of the old value system. Revolution only means revaluation of our value system. It is the same thing. After a while things settle down and then they go at it again. There is no improvement again or there is a slight improvement but it is basically a modified continuity of the same. In that process, what horrors we have committed, you know! Is it really worth all that? But you seem to think that it is. After killing so many people you go back to the same system, the same technique. What is the point? But we will keep going that way.
The questions, "Is there any meaning? Is there any purpose?" take away the living quality of life. You are living in a world of ideas. Anything I say would not be of much interest to people. When people ask me whether there is any such thing as reincarnation, my answer is that there is reincarnation for those who believe in it, and there is no reincarnation for those who do not believe in it. It is not a clever answer, because it is the belief which is important.
If you ask a fundamental question, "Is there any such thing as reincarnation as the other laws in nature like gravity?" my answer would be negative, a definite no. It is not as much part of nature as gravity is but if you want to believe that it is so it is a different matter. The belief in reincarnation is born out of the demand that something will continue after your so-called death. It is the same mechanism which wants to know what will happen after death.
For exactly the same reason you are asking the question, "Is there any meaning, is there any purpose in life?" For some reason, that mechanism, that movement of thought, does not want to come to an end. You have seen people dying there. So the belief that there is a center here, that there is a spirit here, that there is a soul here, is what is responsible for that belief that there must be something beyond but if you want to know if there is anything beyond, you have to die now.
When the question or belief about that comes to an end death will take place here right now, clinical death will take place. Then the question whether there is an afterlife would not at all arise because the living organism has no way of knowing that it is alive. The belief has to go. The end of belief is death. But you replace one belief with another, one illusion with another illusion. That is all that we are doing.
Wherever there is division there can't be love. We are trying to bridge this gap, which is horrible for us, which has no meaning, which is demanding something from us, with this fancy idea that there must be love between these two individuals. Obviously, our relationships are not so loving. So we want to somehow make them into loving affairs, loving relationships.
What an amount of energy we are putting into making our relationship into a loving thing! It is a battle, a war. It is like preparing yourself all the time for war hoping that there will be peace, eternal peace, or this or that. You are tired of this battle and you even settle for that horrible, non-loving relationship. And you hope and dream one day it will be nothing but love. "Love thy neighbor as thyself. In the name of that, how many millions of people have been killed? More than all the recent wars put together. How can you love thy neighbor as thyself? It is just not possible. Obviously, otherwise why are so many people, women, children and helpless people killed?
Sexuality, if it is left to itself as it is in the case of other species, other forms of life, is merely a biological need because the living organism has this object to survive and produce one like itself. Anything you superimpose on that is totally unrelated to the living organism. But we have turned that, what you call sexual activity, which is biological in its nature, into a pleasure movement. I am not saying anything against the pleasure movement. I am not interested in saying that you should condemn that or become promiscuous or use sex as a means of spiritual attainment; no. It is a very simple functioning of the living organism. The religious man has turned that into something big and concentrated on the control of sex. After that the psychologists have turned that into something extraordinary.
All commercialism is related to sex. How do you think it will fall into its proper place? I am just pointing out the use to which we are putting that simple biological function. I am not condemning it. It is there, you see. Your talk of that as an expression of love has no meaning to me. We would love to put it that way because it is very comforting. If sex is used only for the biological purpose it is not really a devastating situation. If you leave it as it is it wouldn't be so horrible, the way you would like to put it, it would fall into its proper place. That is why we have invented all these other things—God, truth, and reality—which are nothing but ultimate pleasures.
Look at this moment. It's wonderful! I don't write poetry. The next moment I am looking at you, you are as beautiful as the ocean there, probably more beautiful. You see, if I am freed from all the ideas that I have of beauty, there is something that is extraordinary there. Nothing needs to be done to change anything. Things are changing in their own ways.
We are afraid of coming to an end. There is nothing here to come to an end. Nothing will come to an end except the one that does not want to come to an end. It is interested in preserving itself somehow, in some way, even beyond death. You see, it is not going to succeed.