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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