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Krishnaji's Lecture Part 1 of 2

May 26, 1997 06:21 PM
by M K Ramadoss

Hello: Here is a lecture of Krishnaji which is interesting.
Due to its length, it is posted in two parts.


The last time we met we were discussing this question of violence; how it
has pervaded all our lives from childhood until we die. This violence, this
aggression, this brutality exists right throughout the world not only in the
individual, where it manifests as hatred and in twisted forms of loyalty,
but also outwardly in our acceptance of war as a way of life. Violence
arises from rights of property, sexual rights and other forms of ideological
beliefs. One is quite familiar with all this; one sees it very clearly.

All the religions have said: don't kill, be kind, be compassionate, and so
on, but organised religions have no meaning whatsoever; they never had. So
we are confronted with this issue the problem of violence. And one must ask
whether it is at all possible for a human being, not only in his personal
relationship, but in his relationship to society to be completely free of
this violence. This is not a rhetorical question, nor an intellectual
enquiry but an actual problem that faces each one of us both
psychologically, inwardly (inside the skin, as it were) and also outwardly,
in the home and at the office. In every form of activity there is this
aggressive spirit with its engendering hatred and animosity. And we were
asking whether it is at all possible, not only at the conscious level but
also at the deeper levels of the mind, to eradicate this violence
completely, so that we can live at peace with one another and go beyond the
national divisions, the religious separation with its dogmas, beliefs,
theories and ideologies.

Now let us approach this problem another way. One of our main difficulties,
it seems to me, is that although we have plenty of energy, apparently we
lack the drive, the vitality, and enthusiasm to bring about this change
within ourselves. After all, knowing ourselves not according to some
specialist is the most important thing; that is the basis of all action, and
if we do not know ourselves, study ourselves, learn about ourselves, and go
deeply into that meditative spirit within ourselves, then there is no
foundation, then all action becomes fragmentary, contradictory and out of
this state of contradiction there arises conflict, and it is this conflict
which burdens each one of us. Everything we do, everything we think,
everything we touch breeds conflict and struggle which in various forms does
waste energy that is absolutely vital for this inward psychological
revolution. This implies that we shall be completely free from conflict
within ourselves; but it does not mean merely to be content, to vegetate or
lead a cow-like existence; on the contrary, when energy is not used for
mischievous purposes, as it is now, that energy is the transforming element
in knowing ourselves. Although the ancient Greeks, the Hindus, and the
Buddhists have all said: 'Know thyself', very few people have ever bothered
to go into it and find out. To learn about oneself no authority is
necessary, whether it be of the Church, of a Saviour or Master, or of some
specialist; all that one has to do if one is really serious and earnest is
to observe, not only critically but with a mind that is free to learn. (A
baby cries) Who shall have the voice?

You know, in India where we speak in the open, there are about three or four
thousand people who bring their children with them; there are also students,
beggars and every form of humanity; most of them do not understand English,
but it is considered worthwhile, worthy of merit, to attend a religious
meeting, so there is a great deal of noise, and the crows and the other
birds join in. Everybody shares in this kind of reunion, not only the birds
and children, but also those who have little knowledge of anything, and do
not understand very much, but all the same it is good to attend such a  very
much, but all the same it is good to attend such a gathering. Here where
English is spoken and understood, it is worthwhile and significant that
children as well as the aged, and those in middle life, should come together
to talk over seriously and intimately the problems that confront each one of us.

Unfortunately we are not sufficiently serious, we are prejudiced and have
reached certain conclusions which prevent us from examining ourselves. Our
experience acts as a barrier, as does our knowledge, so if we could listen
with a quality of mind that is both earnest and enquiring, then in this
communication we shall not merely be listening to a lot of words or
gathering a new set of ideas, but rather we shall be penetrating deeply
within ourselves and learning about ourselves.

Surely the intention of these meetings is to go deeply into ourselves and
discover ourselves, not to be told what to do and what to think (which is
too immature, too childish), not to create another authority, another guru
and all that absurd business. Self-discovery is not asking 'Who am I?' but
actually observing yourself as you would look at your face in a mirror,
observing your actions, your gestures and the words you use, observing the
way you look at a tree, at a bird or a passing cloud, at your wife, your
husband or a neighbour. So through observation one begins to discover what
one is, because one is never static; there is nothing permanent within,
although the theologians and the other 'godly' people assert that there is a
constant entity, which again is a theory, an idea. If we could then enquire,
joyfully and freely, whether the mind this human mind which has lived for
millions of years and has been so heavily conditioned by a thousand
experiences, which has embraced and accepted so many ideas and ideologies
whether such a mind can go into itself and find out whether or not it can be
completely and totally free from violence.

Now let us approach this problem differently! As long as there is fear,
there must be violence, aggression, hatred and anger. Most human beings are
afraid, not only outwardly but also inwardly, although the outer and the
inner are not separate, they are really one movement; so if we understand
the inner -- its design, its nature and the whole structure of fear then
perhaps we shall be able to bring about a different society, a different
culture, because the present society is corrupt and its morality is immoral.

So we have to find out, not ideologically, not intellectually as a kind of
game, but actually discover for ourselves whether or not it is possible to
be free from this fear. There are various forms of fear, too numerous to go
into the fear of darkness, the fear of losing one's job or one's livelihood,
the fear of being found out when you have done something of which you are
ashamed, the wife's fear of the husband, the husband's fear of the wife, the
parent's fear of the children, the fear of not being loved, the fears of old
age, of loneliness and death; so many forms of fear. So unless we understand
fear, the central issue of fear, we shall live in darkness and, therefore,
we shall never be free from this brutality, aggression, envy and competition.

What is fear? What is the actual state of fear itself, not the various forms
of fear? What causes fear? Please, as we said previously, the speaker is not
an analyst, he is not carrying out an analysis en masse. We are not
concerned with analysis at all, because as you will see presently analysis
is a waste of time. Analysis postulates an analyser and a thing to be
analysed whereas the analyser himself is the analysed; he cannot possibly
separate himself from the thing he wishes to analyse, so when he observes
this phenomenon he sees what a dreadful waste of time analysis is. You may
if you are rich and it takes your fancy indulge in it as a kind of game to
amuse yourself, but if you really want to go beyond the nature and structure
of fear, eradicate it altogether, you must come to it, not through any
analytical process or intellectual design, but directly. If you would
understand something, especially a living thing, you must observe it with a
living mind, not with dead knowledge, not with something that you have
already learnt or that you already know.

So that's what we are going to do and in listening, you are not listening to
the speaker at all, because he is of no importance whatsoever. He is like
the telephone it is not important! What is important is what the telephone
is saying. It is necessary then to observe yourself, to observe your own
mind through the words of the speaker, using him as a mirror. And when you
observe yourself as a human being, so heavily conditioned by the past, so
inextricably caught in sorrow and travail, then out of that observation
there comes an understanding which produces a totally different kind of
action, and we are going to explore that action together, discuss it, talk
it over, not as teacher and pupil or guru and disciple, but rather as two
friends trying to solve the immense problems of everyday life. If you don't
lay a sane, healthy, decent and righteous foundation, you cannot go very
far, you cannot possibly meditate or find out what is truth.

To lay the right foundation, so that we become a light to ourselves, we must
understand fear. What is fear (not how to overcome fear)? I do not know if
you have noticed that anything that has to be overcome must be overcome
again and again. If you have ever conquered anything   it doesn't matter
what it is, some outward or inward enemy you have to re-conquer it over and
over again. We are not trying to overcome fear, nor are we trying to
suppress it or give it a different quality, but instead we are trying to
understand it, trying to find out what fear actually is and how it comes
into being. So what is this fear, the fear of what has been, the fear of
yesterday, the fear of tomorrow, the fear of not being and not becoming;
that is, fear in time. If you are faced with a challenge, an enormous crisis
in your life and there is no yesterday and no tomorrow you act instantly,
don't you? It is the thinking about what happened yesterday or what will
happen tomorrow that breeds fear, but when your action is immediate, you
cannot think about what is happening now, at this instant; thought cannot
enter into the active present. It is only when the action is over and done
with, that you can think of what might have been, of the past or of the
future. So thought is the cause of fear, thinking about the past and the
future, thinking about yesterday and tomorrow I had pain yesterday and
tomorrow perhaps it will return or tomorrow I may lose my job, so I am
afraid. Please, observe your own mind and heart! Go into it yourself and you
will see how extraordinarily simple it becomes! If you don't do it, then it
is very complex, then it has no meaning whatsoever.

Therefore thought breeds the fear the thought that perhaps I am no good and
I may not succeed the thought of being unloved and my utter loneliness the
thought of being found out in some shameful act I have committed the thought
of losing something which is very precious and dear to me. So in its wake
thought brings regret and despair. As well as being the source of fear,
thought is also the source of pleasure. The thought of something which has
given you enjoyment nourishes that pleasure, gives substance to it. When you
see the sunset of an evening or the early morning light on the hills and you
take in all its beauty and loveliness, or in the surrounding stillness you
hear the sound of a quail, when this happens, at the actual moment of
perception, there is no thought, only a total awareness of everything around
you. But when you start to think about it, go back to it in thought, and say
to yourself, I must have more of this pleasure, re-capture the beauty of it,
then the thinking about it gives further enjoyment. So thought breeds
pleasure as well as fear; this is an obvious psychological fact which
intellectually we accept, but that acceptance has no value, because pleasure
contains within it the seed of fear; so pleasure is fear.

Please watch this very carefully! We are not saying you must deny yourself
pleasure. All the religions throughout the world have condemned pleasure,
sexual or otherwise we are not saying that! A religious man does not deny or
suppress but rather he is learning, observing.

So thinking about what has happened or what might happen brings fear, as
with the fear of death for instance  postponed or put away into the distant
future but it is there. And thinking about some shortcoming in one's past
which others might use to their advantage, or thinking about the pleasure of
sex and keeping the image alive. This thinking about something does breed
either fear or pleasure.

The question then arises: is it possible to live our everyday life without
the interference of thought? It is not such a crazy question as it sounds
and it is a very important question, because man throughout the ages has
worshipped thought and the intellect in all the 'clever' books with their
theories, in all the theological works with their concepts about God,
showing us the right way to live. These experts and specialists are like
people who are tethered to a post; they are restricted from going any
further because of their conditioning, so whatever they think, they are
limited. And because they are the result of ten thousand years of
propaganda, their gods, their dogmas and rituals have no meaning whatsoever.
Man has worshipped thought, put it on a pedestal. Look at all the books that
have been written!

Now what is thought and what significance has it? I know there are people
who have said 'Kill the mind!' You can't kill it! You can't just drop
thought as though it were some garment you are wearing. You have to
understand this extraordinary process of thinking, your own thinking, not by
studying books or being lectured to about thought. When you think at all,
what is the origin of thinking? When is thought necessary and when is it
not? When is it an impediment and when is it a help? So, you must find out
all these things for yourself, not be guided by the speaker or some other

You know, the world is becoming more and more authoritarian, not only
religiously and politically but psychologically. There must, of course, be a
certain kind of authority in technological knowledge, but to wield authority
in religious and psychological matters is an abomination; then man is never
free and never can be free, and freedom is an absolute necessity. How can a
mind that is afraid ever be free? How can a mind that is clouded by
perpetual thinking and incessant chattering ever be free to look, to
enquire, to live and to know that ecstasy which is not of pleasure. So what
is thought and can thought come to an end at a certain level and yet
function at other levels rationally, sanely, objectively, nonemotionally and
impersonally? That is, knowledge about the universe, about everything is
necessary -- knowledge but one also observes that thought breeds fear as
well as pleasure, so one asks oneself, can this thought come to an end. Once
again you have to find this out for yourselves, so that you are no longer
second-hand human beings as you are now but you are discovering it for
yourselves. So what is thought? Surely this is very simple; thought is the
response of memory. Someone asks you a familiar question and you reply
immediately; and if the question is a little more complex then you take time
before answering. During the interval between the question and the answer
memory is in operation and from that memory you reply; so thinking is the
response of memory and memory is the storehouse of thousands of experiences,
both conscious as well as unconscious. That is, the unconscious is the vast
storehouse as memory of the race, of the tradition, whether it be Christian,
Hindu or Buddhist, and therein is hidden the accumulation of many centuries,
while the conscious mind is the storehouse of knowledge you have acquired.
And through this whole structure of memory you are conditioned and from that
conditioning you respond; if you are conditioned as a Republican, a Democrat
or a Communist then from that background, from that memory you respond. If
you are brought up as a Christian and have been indoctrinated by the
propaganda of the church with its dogmas and rituals, then you respond
according to that memory, that conditioning; or if you are a Hindu, then you
respond from the background of your gods and your puja, the rites of the
temple and so on.

================ continued part 2 ==========================

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