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May 18, 1997 11:26 AM
by M K Ramadoss

Krishnaji wrote a series of letters primarily for the children in his
schools dealing with some of the simple and yet very fundamental issues of
life. One such dealt with the issue of conflict, honesty and insight. I felt
that his analysis of the issues especially of honesty and insight is very
precise and clear. In these days when honor and honesty does not mean much
to many, I think it may be helpful to some of us to examine the issue of our
own honesty. The clever and concrete mind, I have seen very often, tries to
use its sharpness and worldly knowledge not to be really honest but
justifies many of the things we do as being honest. A no holds barred
ruthless analysis of ourselves may be very revealing and in some cases may
even be shocking.

Your mileage and direction may vary.


    Any form of conflict, struggle, corrupts the mind - the mind
    being the wholeness of all our existence. This quality is
    destroyed when there is any kind of friction, any kind of
    contradiction. As most of us live in a perpetual state of
    contradiction and conflict, this lack of completeness makes for
    degeneration. We are concerned here to discover for ourselves
    whether it is at all possible to bring an end to these
    degenerating factors. Perhaps most of us have never thought
    about this; we have accepted it as a normal way of life. We
    have convinced ourselves that conflict brings growth - as
    competition - and we have various explanations for this: the
    tree struggles in the forest for light, the baby just born struggles
    for breath, the mother labours to deliver. We are conditioned to
    accept this and to live in this manner. This has been the way of
    our life for generations and any suggestion that perhaps there
    might be a way of life without conflict seems quite incredible.
    You may listen to this as some idealistic nonsense or reject it
    out of hand, but you never consider whether there is any
    significance in the statement that it is possible to live a life
    without a shadow of conflict. When we are concerned with the
    integrity and responsibility of bringing about a new generation,
    which as educators is the only function we have, can you
    investigate this fact? And in the very process of educating can
    you convey to the student what you are discovering for

    Conflict in any form is an indication of resistance. In a fast-
    flowing river there is no resistance; it flows around big
    boulders, through villages and towns. Man controls it for his
    own purpose. Freedom after all implies, does it not, the
    absence of the resistance that thought has built around itself?

    Honesty is a very complex affair. What are you honest about
    and for what reason? Can you be honest with yourself and so
    be fair to another? When one says to oneself that one must be
    honest, is that possible? Is honesty a matter of ideals? Can an
    idealist ever be honest? He is living in a future carved out of the
    past; he is caught between that which has been and that which
    ought to be and so he can never be honest. Can you be honest
    with yourself? Is that possible? You are the centre of various
    activities, sometimes contradictory; of various thoughts,
    feelings and desires which are always in opposition to each
    other. Which is the honest desire or thought and which is not?
    These are not mere rhetorical questions or clever arguments. It
    is very important to find out what it means to be totally honest
    because we are going to deal with insight and the immediacy of
    action. It is utterly important, if we would grasp the depth of
    insight, to have this quality of complete integrity, that
    integrity which is the honesty of the whole.

    One may be honest about an ideal, a principle or an ingrained
    belief Surely this is not honesty. Honesty can only be when
    there is no conflict of duality, when the opposite does not
    exist. There is darkness and light, night and day; there is man,
    woman, the tall, the short and so on, but it is thought that
    makes them opposites, puts them in contradiction. We are
    expressing the psychological contradiction that mankind has
    cultivated. Love is not the opposite of hate or jealousy. If it
    were, it would not be love. Humility is not the opposite of
    vanity or pride and arrogance. If it were, it would still be part
    of arrogance and pride and so not humility. Humility is totally
    divorced from all this. A mind that is humble is unaware of its
    humility. So honesty is not the opposite of dishonesty.

    One can be sincere in one's belief or in one's concept but that
    sincerity breeds conflict and where there is conflict
    there can be no honesty. So we are asking can you be honest to
    yourself? Yourself is a mixture of many movements crossing
    each other, dominating each other and rarely flowing together.
    When all these movements flow together then there is honesty.
    Again there is the separation between the conscious and
    unconscious, god and the devil; thought has brought about this
    division and the conflict that exists between these divisions.
    Goodness has no opposite.

    With this new understanding of what honesty is, can we
    proceed with the investigation of what is insight? This is
    utterly important because this may be the factor that may
    revolutionise our action and may bring about a transformation
    in the brain itself We have said that our way of life has become
    mechanistic: the past with all the accumulated experience and
    knowledge, which is the source of thought, is directing, shaping
    all action. The past and the future are interrelated and
    inseparable and the very process of thinking is based upon
    this. Thought is ever-limited, finite; though it may pretend to
    reach heaven, that very heaven is within the frame of thought.
    Memory is measurable, as time is. This movement of thought
    can never be fresh, new, original. So action based on thought
    must ever be broken up, incomplete, contradictory. This whole
    movement of thought must be deeply understood with its
    relative place in the necessities of life, things that must be
    remembered. Then what is action which is not the continuance
    of remembrance? It is insight.

    Insight is not the careful deduction of thought, the analytical
    process of thought or the time-binding nature of memory. It is
    perception without the perceiver; it is instantaneous. From this
    insight action takes place. From this insight the explanation of
    any problem is accurate, final and true. There are no regrets, no
    reactions. It is absolute. There can be no insight without the
    quality of love. Insight is not an intellectual affair to be argued and
patented. This love is the highest form of sensitivity - when
    all the senses are flowering together. Without this sensitivity
    - not to be caught in one's desires, problems and all the
    pettiness of one's own life - insight is obviously quite impossible.

    Insight is holistic. Holistic implies the whole, the whole of the
    mind. The mind is all the experience of humanity, the vast
    accumulated knowledge with its technical skills, with its
    sorrows, anxiety, pain, grief and loneliness. But insight is
    beyond all this. Freedom from sorrow, from grief, from
    loneliness, is essential for insight to be. Insight is not a
    continuous movement. It cannot be captured by thought.
    Insight is supreme intelligence and this intelligence employs
    thought as a tool. Insight is intelligence with its beauty and
    love. They are really inseparable: they are actually one. This is
    the whole which is the most sacred.

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