J. Krishnamurti – Ojai 1982 – Discussion with Scientists 1 – Roots of psychological disorder

J. Krishnamurti – Ojai 1982 – Discussion with Scientists 1 – Roots of psychological disorder


The Nature of the Mind Part One The Roots of
Psychological Disorder This is one of a series of
dialogues between J Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert
Sheldrake, and John Hidley. The purpose of these discussions
is to explore essential questions about the mind, what is
psychological disorder, and what is required for
fundamental psychological change? J Krishnamurti is a religious
philosopher, author, and educator, who has written and given lectures
on these subjects for many years. He has founded elementary
and secondary schools in the United States,
England, and India. David Bohm is professor
of theoretical physics at Birkbeck College,
London University in England. He has written
numerous books concerning theoretical physics
and the nature of consciousness. Professor Bohm and
Mr. Krishnamurti have held previous dialogues
on many subjects. Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist,
whose recently published book proposes that learning in
some members of a species affects the
species as a whole. Dr. Sheldrake is presently
consulting plant physiologist to the International Crops Research
Institute in Hyderabad, India. John Hidley is a psychiatrist
in private practice, who has been associated
with the Krishnamurti school in Ojai, California,
for the past six years. In the culture there are
conflicting points of view about the proper approach
to dealing with one’s own or others’ psychological
problems. And the underlying principles from
which these approaches are drawn are in even
greater conflict. Without invoking a narrow
or specialised point of view, can the mind, the
nature of consciousness, its relationship
to human suffering, and the potential
for change be understood? These are the issues to be
explored in these dialogues. K: Is disorder the very
nature of the self? H: Why do you say that? Why do you ask that,
if it is the nature of the self? K: Isn’t the self,
the me, the ego, whatever word we like to use,
isn’t that divisive? Isn’t that exclusive,
isolating process, the self-centred activity, which causes
so much disorder in the world, isn’t that the origin,
the beginning of all disorder? H: The origin being
selfish activity. K: Yes, self-centred activity,
at all levels of life. H: Yes, and certainly that’s the
way, in which the patient comes in, he’s concerned
about his depression. K: Yes.
H: Or his fear. K: His fulfilment,
his joy, his suffering, his agony, and so on,
it’s all self-centred. H: Yes.
K: So, I am asking, if I may, is not the self the
beginning of all disorder? The self – I mean the egotistic
attitude towards life, the sense of individual,
emphasis on the individual, his salvation,
his fulfilment, his happiness,
his anxiety, and so on. H: Well, I don’t know that
it’s the source of the thing. It’s certainly the way
he experiences it and presents it. He presents it as his. K: Yes, but I mean, if you
go all over the world, it is the same expression,
it is the same way of living. They are all living
their own personal lives, unrelated to another, though they may be married,
they may do all kinds of things, but they’re really functioning
from an isolated centre. H: And that centre,
that self, is the source of the
difficulty in the relationship? K: In relationship. H: And the difficulty
that creates the symptoms. K: And I wonder, if the psychologists
have tackled that problem, that the self is the origin,
the beginning of all contradiction, divisive activity,
self-centred activity, and so on. H: No. I think that the way
psychiatrists and psychologists look at this is that the problem
is to have an adequate self. K: Adequate self.
H: Yes. K: Which means what? H: Defining normality… K: The self that is functioning…
H: Sufficiently. K: …efficiently.
H: Yes. K: Which means furthering
more misery. B: Well, I don’t feel
that the psychiatrists would necessarily agree
with you on that last point, they might feel that a proper,
or properly organised self could get together with other
properly organised selves and make an orderly society.
K: Yes. B: And you are saying,
as I understand it, something quite different.
K: Yes. B: Which is that
no self can do it. No structure of the self
can make order. K: That’s right. The very
nature of the self must intrinsically
bring disorder. B: Yes, but I’m not
sure this will be clear. How can that be
made clear, evident? S: Sorry, it seems to me that
the context is even broader than that of psychology, because in the world
we have all sorts of things, which are not human
beings with selves, there are animals, and plants,
and all the forces of nature, and all the
stars, and so on. Now, we see disorder
in nature too. It may not be consciously
experienced – and a cat that’s suffering,
or a lion that is suffering, or a mouse, or even an
earthworm that’s suffering may not come into a
psychiatrist’s office and say so, but the fact is that
there seems to be disorder and conflict
within nature. There are conflicts between forces
of nature, inanimate things, earthquakes and so on; there are
conflicts within the animal world, there are even conflicts
within the plant world. Plants compete
for light, and bigger ones get
higher up in the forest, and the smaller ones
get shaded out and die. There’s conflict between
predators and prey – all animals live on
other plants or animals. There’s every kind of
conflict, there’s disease, there’s suffering,
there’s parasites – all these things occur
in the natural world. So, is the context of psychological
suffering and disorder something that’s merely
something to do with the mind, or is it something to do
with the whole of nature, the fact that the world
is full of separate things, and that if we have a world
which is full of separate things, and these separate things are
all interacting with each other, that there’s always going
to be conflict in such a world. B: So, I’m wondering,
is it clear that there is that
disorder in nature. Would we say that disorder is
only in human consciousness? K: Yes. B: That is, the phenomena
that you have described, are they actually disorder?
That’s a question we have to go into. Or what is the difference between
the disorder in consciousness and whatever
is going on in nature? K: I saw the other night
on the television a cheetah chasing
a deer, killing it. Would you consider
that disorder? S: Well, I would consider
that it involves suffering. K: Suffering, yes. So, are we saying
that it is natural in nature and in human beings to
suffer, to go through agonies, to live in disorder?
S: Yes. K: So, what do you
say to that, sir? H: Well, I think that’s the way
it’s looked at by the therapist. To some degree
it’s felt that this arises in the course
of development, and that some people
have it more than others – suffering – some people are more
fortunate in their upbringing, for example,
in their heredity. But it isn’t questioned that
that may not be necessary in any absolute sense. T:Well, that’s what
we’re questioning. K: That’s what I would
like to question too. H: Yes. K: Dr. Sheldrake says it is
accepted. It’s like that. Human condition is
to suffer, to struggle, to have anxiety,
pain, disorder. H: Well, it’s certainly…
K: It’s human condition. H: It’s certainly necessary
to have physical suffering. People get sick, they die,
and we’re wondering whether or not psychological
suffering is analogous to that, or whether there’s something
intrinsically different about it. K: No, sir. I do question,
seriously, whether human beings must inevitably
live in this state, everlastingly suffering, everlastingly going
through this agony of life. Is that necessary,
is it right that they should? H: It’s certainly not
desirable that they should. K: No, no. If we accept that it’s inevitable,
as many people do, then there is no answer to it.
H: Yes. K: But is it inevitable? H: Well, physical
suffering is inevitable. K: Yes.
H: Illness, death. K: Yes, sir, physical sufferings,
old age, accidents, disease. H: Maybe we increase the
physical suffering because of our
psychological problems. K: That’s it. That’s it.
Sir, a mother bearing babies, she goes through a terrible
time delivering them. Strangely, she
forgets that pain. She has the next baby,
another baby. In India, as you know, mothers
have about seven or eight children. If they remembered the
first agony of it, they would never
have children. I have talked to
several mothers about it. They seem to totally forget it.
It’s a blank after suffering. So, is there an activity
in the psyche that helps the suffering
to be wiped away? Recently, personally, I have had
an operation, a minor operation, there was plenty of
pain; quite a lot. And it went on
considerably. It’s out of my mind,
completely gone. So, is it
the psychological nourishing of a remembrance of pain – you follow? – which gives us a sense
of continuity in pain? H: So you are saying that perhaps
the physical suffering in the world is not the source of the
psychological suffering, but that the psychological
suffering is an action of its own. K: Yes. Right. You have had toothache,
I’m sure. S: Yes. I’ve forgotten it.
K: You have forgotten it. Why? If we accept
pain is inevitable, suffering is inevitable, you must continue with it.
You must sustain it. S: No, we have to accept
that it’s inevitable, as it happens
sometimes. But we can forget
physical pain; can we forget the kind of
psychological pain that’s caused by natural things
like loss, death of people? K: Yes, we’ll come
to that. I come to you. I’ve a problem
with my wife, if I’m married. I am not,
but suppose I am married. I come because
I can’t get on with her. H: Yes. K: And she can’t
get on with me. And we have a problem
in relationship. I come to you.
How will you help me? This is a problem
that everybody’s facing. H: Yes. K: Either divorce. H: Yes.
K: Or adjustment. And is that possible
when each one wants to fulfil, wants to go
his own way, pursue his own desires,
his own ambitions, and so on? H: You are saying that the
problem arises out of the fact that they each have
their own interests at heart. K: No, it’s not interest,
it’s like… Sir, we are all
terribly individualistic. H: Yes. K: I want my way, and
my wife wants her way. Deeply. H: And we see that our needs
are in conflict for some reason. K: Yes, that’s all.
Right away you begin. After the first few days or
few months of relationship, pleasure and all that, that
soon wears off and we are stuck. H: Okay, that’s the same
problem then with the mother raising this child
and making it her toy. Her needs are in conflict
with the needs of the child. K: Please, perhaps
you’ll go on, sir. The mother, her mother
was also like that. H: Yes. K: And the whole world is like
that, sir. It’s not the mother. H: Yes. K: So, when I come to you with my
problem, you say it’s the mother. H: No, I wouldn’t say it’s…
K: I object to that. H: I wouldn’t say it’s the mother.
K: Ah, no, I’m pushing it. H: You are saying that it’s
a much broader problem. K: Much deeper problem
than the mother; didn’t put the baby on the right
pot, or something. H: Right. Then it appears that the
needs are in conflict. K: No, I wouldn’t say
needs are in conflict. Basically, they are divisive;
self-centred activity. That inevitably must
bring contradiction, you know, the whole business
of relationship and conflict. H: Yes. K: Because each one
wants his pleasure. H: There’s self-centred activity
on the part of the person who’s raising the child or
on the part of the person who is in the
relationship, married. The child is the
victim of that. K: The child…
H: The child is the victim of that. K: Of course. H: And then grows up
to perpetuate it. K: And the mother’s father and
mother’s fathers were like that too. H: Yes. Now, why does it
have to happen that way? Are we saying that’s the way it is
in nature? Or are we saying that… K: Oh, no. S: Well, I mean, there are
certain conflicts in nature. For example, among troops
of gorillas or baboons – take baboons or
even chimpanzees – there’s a conflict
among the males. Often the strongest male…
K: Yes, quite. S: …wishes to monopolise
all the attractive females. Now, some of the younger males
want to get in on the act as well. They try going off with these
females and this younger male will fight and beat them off.
So they’ll be kept out of this. This selfish activity
of this one male keeps most of
the females to himself. The same occurs in red deer, where
the stag will monopolise the females. Now, these are examples of
conflict in the animal kingdom which are quite needless. There would be enough food for these
hens without pecking each other. Now, these are
not exceptions, we can find this kind of thing
throughout the animal kingdom. So, I don’t think that the origin
of this kind of selfish conflict is something just to
do with human societies and the way they
are structured. I think we can see in biological
nature this kind of thing. K: Are you saying that, as we
are the result of the animal, as we human beings
evolved from the animal, we have inherited
all those pecking order? S: Yes, I think we’ve inherited
a lot of animal tendencies from our animal forbearers.
K: Oh, yes, obviously. S: And I think that many of these show
up in these psychological problems. K: Yes, but is it necessary that
we should continue that way? S: Ah. K: We are thoughtful, we are
ingenious in our inventions, extraordinarily capable
in certain directions, why should we not
also say, ‘We won’t have this, the way we live,
let’s change it.’ S: Well, we can say that;
many people have said it. K: I know, many people
have said it. S: But without
very much effect. K: Why? S: Well, that indeed
is a question. Is it that we’re so completely
trapped in the ancestry of the past? K: Or so heavily conditioned
that it’s impossible to be free. S: Well, there are two possible
kinds of conditioning: one is the genuine
biological conditioning that comes from
our animal heritage, which means that we
inherit all these tendencies. K: Let’s accept that. S: Now, that is undoubtedly
extremely strong. It goes right back
into our animal past. K: Right. S: The other kind of conditioning
is the kind of argument that I’m putting forward,
perhaps, the argument: this has always been so;
human nature is like this, there have always
been wars and conflicts, and all that kind of thing, and
therefore there always will be, that the most we can do
is try to minimise these, and that there’ll always
be psychological conflicts within families and
between people, and that the most we can
do is try and minimise these or at least make
them liveable with. K: So, accept the conditioning,
modify it, but you cannot
fundamentally change it. S: Yes. I’m saying this is a
possible kind of conditioning, the belief that we can’t
really change it radically is another kind of conditioning.
I’m a victim of it myself. So, I don’t know if it’s
possible to get out of it. K: That is
what I want to discuss. Whether it’s possible to change
the human conditioning. And not accept it, say, as most philosophers,
the existentialists and others say, your
human nature is conditioned. You cannot change.
You can modify it, you can be less selfish, less painful psychological
problems, bear up with pain, this is natural, we have
inherited from the animals. We’ll go on like this
for the rest of our lives and for the lives
to come. Not reincarnation,
other people’s lives. It’ll be our conditioning, human
conditioning. Do we accept that? Or should we enquire into
whether it’s possible to change this
conditioning? S: Yes. I think we
should enquire into that. K: If you say it cannot be changed,
then the argument is over. S: All right, so I’ll say…
K: No, I’m not saying… S: I’d like it to be changed,
I deeply want it to be changed. So I think that this question
of enquiring into the possibility is extremely important. But one of my points, to go back to the
conditioning point, is that a lot of this conditioning is
deep in our biological nature, and people who
wish to change it merely by changing the
structures of society… K: Oh, I’m not talking
about that, of course. S: …are operating at
too superficial a level. K: Like the Communists
want to change it. S: But the idea that you can do it
by just changing the environment is what the Communists
thought and still think, and in a sense the experiment
has been tried, and we can see the results
in various communist countries. And of course, believers
in that would say, well, they haven’t
tried properly, or they betrayed the
revolution, and so on. But nevertheless, the basis
of that belief is that the source of all the evils
and problems is in society, and by changing
society man is perfectible. K: But society is formed by us.
S: Yes. K: And by us it is going
to be changed. So we haven’t
changed ourselves. We depend on society
to change us. And society is what we have made it;
so we are caught in that trap. S: Yes. Exactly; and if we start
off with a heritage, which is built into us,
inherited, which comes from
our biological past, and if we start with that,
and we start with these societies that also have bad effects, some
of them, and to varying degrees, and we just try
to change the society, the other part, the inherited part,
is still there. K: Oh, yes, but cannot
those also be transformed? S: I really… K: I may have inherited
– what? – violence from the apes and so on, so on.
Can’t I change that? The inherited biological…
B: Drives. K: …conditioning.
Surely that can be transformed. S: Well, all societies
surely seek to transform these biological drives
we have, and all processes of bringing children up
in all societies seek to bring these drives within
the control of the society. Otherwise you would
have complete anarchy. However, these drives
are always brought within certain social forms,
and individual aggression is obviously discouraged
in most societies. But is it really transformed?
Doesn’t it just come out again in the aggression of the society
as a whole – war, and so on. So, we can see that these things
are transformed by society, these basic drives
that we inherit. K: But why do we…
sorry, what were you… B: I was going to say they really
haven’t been transformed, but I think you’re meaning by
transformed a fundamental change and not just a superficial
change or a transfer of the object of aggression from
other individuals to other groups. So, if you talk of transformation,
you would say really that they would benefit,
more or less go away, right? That’s as I understand it. S: Well, they’d be changed
from one form to another. B: But I meant…
S: That’s what I mean. B: I don’t think
that’s the meaning which Krishnaji is using
for the word ‘transform’ but essentially
can’t we be free of them. K: Yes. That’s right.
Sir, why do you divide, if I may ask,
society and me? As though society were something
outside, which is influencing me, conditioning me, but my
parents, grandparents, so on, past generations, have
created that society, so I am part of that society.
I am society. S: Well, yes.
K: Why do we separate it? S: I think the reason why
we separate it is that there are different
kinds of society. If I’d been born in India
instead of in England, I would have grown up
in a very different way… K: Of course.
S: …with different set of attitudes. S: And because we can think
of ourselves growing up in different kinds of societies
– and we’d be different if we had – that’s why in thought, I think, we
have the idea that society and me are not exactly the same.
We’d always be in one society or another, so society as a whole,
all societies taken together, we would only
exist within society, but any particular
society is in a sense an accident
of our birth or upbringing. K: But even that
society is part of us. S: Oh, yes. I mean through
growing up in it, it becomes part of us,
and we become part of it. K: But, I want to abolish
this idea, in discussion, this separation from
me and society. I am society,
I am the world! I am the result of all these
influences, conditionings, whether in the East or in the West,
or in South, or North, it’s all part of conditioning.
S: Yes. K: So, we are attacking
the conditioning, not where you are born,
or East, or West. S: Oh, yes. The problem would be
conditioning of every kind, our biological conditioning,
our conditioning from society. K: That’s right.
S: Yes. K: So, personally, I don’t separate
myself from society, I am society. I have created society
through my anxiety, through my desire
for security, through my desire to have
power, and so on, so on, so on. Like the animal. It’s all
biologically inherited. And also, my own
individualistic activity has created
this society. So, I am asking, I am
conditioned in that way – is it not possible to be free of it?
Free of my conditioning. If you say it’s not possible,
then it’s finished. S: Well, I would say first that
it’s not possible to be free of all of the conditioning.
I mean, certain of it is necessary biologically, the conditioning
that makes my heart beat… K: Ah, well…
S: …my lungs operate, and all that. K: I admit all that. S: Now, then, the question is,
how far can you take that? The necessary
conditioning. K: Dr. Hidley was saying
– that’s his whole point – I am conditioned to suffer,
psychologically. Right, sir? H: Yes. K: Or I am conditioned to go through
great conflict in my relationship with my wife, or father,
whatever it is. And you are saying, either
we investigate into that and free ourselves from that,
or accept it and modify it. H: That’s right. K: Now, which is it?
That’s what I want – which is it, as a psychologist,
you maintain? If I may put such
a question to you. H: Yes. Well, I think generally the approach
is to attempt to modify it, to help the patient to make it
work more effectively. K: Why? I hope you don’t mind
my asking these questions. H: No. I think that part of
the reason for that is that it’s seen as biological
and therefore fixed. A person is born with
a certain temperament. His drives are the drives of
the animal, and I think also, because it isn’t clear
to the therapists, that the problem
can be dealt with as a whole, it is clear that it can
be dealt with as particulars. K: Is it… I am not asking
an impudent question, I hope. H: Okay. K: Is it the psychologists
don’t think holistically? Our only concern is
solving individual problems. H: Yes, they are concerned
with solving individual problems. K: So, therefore they are not thinking
of human suffering as a whole. H: Right. K: A particular suffering of X
who is very depressed. H: Right.
For particular reasons. K: For particular reasons. We don’t
enquire into what is depression, why human beings all over
the world are depressed. H: Or we don’t try and tackle
that as a single problem. We try and tackle it with this
particular individual who comes in. K: Therefore you are still really,
if I may point out – I may be wrong… H: Yes. K: You are emphasising his particular
suffering, and so sustaining it. H: Now, can we
get clear on that? K: I come to you.
H: Yes. K: I am depressed.
H: Yes. K: For various reasons
which you know. H: Yes. K: And you tell me,
by talking to me, etc. – you know, the whole business
of coming to you, and all that – you tell me my depression
is the depression of the world. H: Yes, I don’t tell you that.
I tell you that your depression… K: When you tell me that, are
you not helping me to carry on with this individualistic
depression? And therefore my depression,
not your depression. H: Yes. K: It’s my depression, which I
either cherish or want to dissolve. H: Yes. K: Which means I am only
concerned with myself. H: Yes.
K: Myself – I come back to that. H: Yes, it’s within
the context of yourself. K: Self.
H: Yes. K: So you are helping me
to be more selfish, if I may… H: Yes. K: More self-concerned,
more self-committed. H: It is approached within
the context of the self, but I would think
that I am helping you to be less
self-concerned, because when you
are not depressed, then you don’t have
to be self-concerned. You feel better and you’re
able to relate to people more. K: But again, on a
very superficial level. H: Meaning that
I leave the self intact. K: Intact.
H: Yes. B: Yes, well, I feel that people
generally wouldn’t accept this that the self is not there,
which is what you’re implying that the self is
rather unimportant. But rather the assumption is
that the self is really there, and it has to be improved,
and if you say… K: That’s it, that’s it. B: A certain amount
of self-centredness people would say is normal.
K: Yes, sir. B: It’s only to keep it
within reason, right? H: Right. K: Modify selfishness,
right? Continue with selfishness,
but go slow. Piano. B: But I think, you’re saying something
which is very radical then, because very few
people have entertained the notion of
no self-centredness. K: That’s it. H: That’s right;
it isn’t entertained. B: Maybe a few, but…
H: Yes. For biological reasons and
because of the universality of the phenomenon? Because it
isn’t even seen as relevant, really. B: I think most people feel
that’s the way things are, it’s the only way.
H: Yes. K: That means status quo,
modified status quo. B: Yes.
S: Yes. K: To me that seems
so irrational. B: But you must feel that it’s
possible to be different, you see, at least, more than
feel, but in some sense there must be some reason
why you say this. K: I’ll tell you…What? B: Why you feel so different
from other people about it. K: It seems so practical,
first of all. The way we live
is so impractical. The wars, the accumulation of
armaments, is totally impractical. B: But that wouldn’t be an argument,
because people say, ‘We all understand that, but
since that’s the way we are, nothing else
is possible.’ You see, you really are
challenging the notion that that is the way we are,
or we have to be. K: I don’t quite follow this.
We are what we are. B: People say, we are
individual, separate, and we’ll just have to fight
and make the best of it. But you are saying
something different, you’re not accepting
that. K: All right. Don’t accept it,
but will you listen? Will the people
who don’t accept it, will they give their minds
to find out? Right?
H: Right. K: Or say, ‘Please, we don’t want
to listen to you.’ This is what we think – buzz off. That’s what
most people do. H: Well, this question
isn’t even raised usually. K: Of course. H: Now why do you think
that the self, this selfish activity,
isn’t necessary? K: No, sir, first of all, do we accept the condition
that we are in? Do we accept it, and say,
‘Please, we can only modify it, and it can
never be changed’. One can never be free
from this anxiety, deep depression; modify it,
always, from agony of life. You follow? This process of
going through tortures in oneself. That’s normal,
accepted. Modify it, live little more quietly,
and so on, so on. If you accept that, there is
no communication between us. But if you say, I know my conditioning,
I may perhaps, I may… tell me, let’s just talk about
whether one can be free from it. Then we have a relationship, then we can communicate
with each other. But you say, sorry, shut the door
in my face, and it’s finished. S: So, there are some people who
accept it, say, ‘We can’t change it’. But there are other
people, and I would say, some of the most
inspiring leaders of the different religions
of the world are among them, who have said we can change it;
there is a way beyond this. K: Yes. S: Now, since religions
have wide followings, and since their doctrines
are widely dispersed, there are in fact large numbers
of people in our society, and in every society,
who do think it can be changed. Because all religions hold out
the prospect of change and of going beyond
this conditioning. K: Yes. But I would like to know,
when you use the word ‘religion’, is it the organised
religion, is it the authoritarian
religion, is it the religion of belief,
dogma, rituals, all that? S: Well…
K: Or religion in the sense: the accumulation
of energy to find whether it is possible
to be free. You understand
my question? S: Yes. Well, I think the second,
but I think that, if we look into the history of the organised
religions and people within them, we see that much of the
inspiration for them was in fact that second kind of religion,
which still within that framework, still survives, I think.
But it’s also something which has often been corrupted,
and debased, and turned into yet another set of dogmas,
conditioning, and so on. But I think within all
religious traditions this second kind of religion you
talk about has been kept alive, and I think that the impetus in
all the great religions of the world has been that vision,
it’s then been debased and degraded
in various ways. But this vision has never
left any of these religions, there are still people within
them, I think, who still have it. And this is the inner light
that keeps them going, over and above the
simple political part, and all the rest of it.
K: I know, I know. But suppose, a man like
me rejects tradition. Rejects anything that has
been said about truth, about god, whatever it is,
the other side. I don’t know; the other people say,
‘Yes, we have this and that’. So, how am I, as a human being
who has really rejected all this – tradition, the people
who have said there is, and the people who have
said that’s all nonsense, people who have said we have
found that it is, and so on, so on. If you wipe all that out and
say, ‘Look, I must find out – not as an individual – can this truth, or this
bliss, this illumination, an come without
depending on all that?’ You see, if I am anchored,
for example, in Hinduism, with all the… –
not the superficiality of it, not all the rituals and
all the superstitions, if I am anchored in the
religious belief of a Hindu, of a real Brahmin, I am always
anchored, and I may go very far, but I am anchored there.
That is not freedom. Because there must be freedom
to discover this, or come upon this. S: Yes. K: Sir, we are going
little bit too far? S: No, but I would then
go back and say, well, you put forward the question of
a man who rejects all his traditions. You said, let us suppose
that I am a man who has rejected
all these traditions. I would then say, well,
what reason do you have for rejecting all these
traditions in such a way? H: Well, that seems to be part of
the problem that we’ve arrived at. We have said that man is
conditioned biologically and socially by his family.
The tradition is part of that. We’ve said that that’s the
problem that we’re up against now. Is it possible for him
to change his nature, or do we have to deal with each
of these problems particularly as they come up? S: Well, what I was saying
is that the inner core of all the great religions
of the world is a vision of this possibility
of a transformation, whether it’s called salvation,
or liberation, or nirvana, or what. There’s this vision. Now, there have always been
people within those religions, who’ve had this vision
and lived this vision; now… K: Ah! Sorry.
Go on, I’m sorry. S: Perhaps part of your radical
rejection of all religions involves denying that.
But if so, I would say, why? Why should we be so radical
as to deny… K: I question whether they really
– I may be sacrilegious, may be an infidel, non-believer – I wonder, if I am anchored
to a certain organised belief, whether I can ever
find the other. If I am a Buddhist,
for example, I believe that the Buddha
is my saviour. Suppose, I believe that, and that has been told
to me from childhood, my parents have been Buddhists,
and so on, so on, so on. And as long as
I have found that security
in that idea, or in that belief,
in that person, there is no freedom. S: No, but it’s possible that you
can move beyond that framework, starting from within it,
you can move beyond it. K: That means
I wipe out everything. S: It means you wipe it out,
but there’s a difference between an approach where you wipe it out
from the beginning… K: From the beginning,
I am talking. S: …and an approach where you
start within it and go beyond it. K: You see – wait, wait. Yes,
I know, it’s the well-worn argument. Which is important, breaking down
all the barriers at the beginning, not at the end. I am a Hindu, I see
what Hinduism is – a lot of superstition, you
know, all the rest of it – and why should I go through
number of years to end it, why can’t I finish it
the first day? S: Because I think you’d have
to reinvent and rediscover for yourself a great many
things that you would be able to get through more quickly
if you didn’t. K: No. His question is… I am a living human being
in relationship with him or with her. In that relationship
I am in conflict. He says, don’t go about
religion and illumination, and nirvana, and
all the rest of it. Transform this, live rightly here,
then the door is open. S: Yes, but surely, isn’t that
easier said than done? K: I know! I know it’s easier said
than done, therefore let’s find out. Let me find out with him,
or with you, or with her, how to live in this world
without conflict. Right, sir? H: That’s what
we’re asking. K: Can I find out,
or is that impossible? H: We don’t know. K: No. Therefore we start
– we don’t know. H: Okay. K: So let’s enquire
into that. Because if my relationship
with life is not right – right in quotes
for the moment – how can I find out something
that’s immensely beyond all this? Beyond time, beyond thought,
beyond measure. I can’t. Until we have established
right relationship between us, which is order, how can I find that
which is supreme order? So I must begin with you,
not with that. I don’t know
if you are meeting me. S: No, I would have thought
that you could easily argue the other way around.
K: Of course, of course! S: Until you have that,
you can’t get this right, because the whole history of man
shows that starting just from… K: Ah! Therefore
you invent that. You invent
something illogical, may not be true;
may be just invention of thought, and you imagine
that to be order and hope that order
will filter into you. And it seems
so illogical, irrational, whereas this is
so rational. S: But is it possible?
K: That is it! Let’s find out. S: But you’ve now completely reversed
your argument to start with. He started with the patient coming
to the psychiatrist’s office, who wants to get
his relationships right, get the human relationships
out of this state of disorder and conflict into something
that’s more tolerable. K: I’m not sure this way –
forgive me, Doctor, if I’m blundering into where the angels
fear to tread, I question whether
they are doing right. S: But they’re doing
just what you said now starting with the relationship, not
going into these bigger questions. K: But I question whether
they are really concerned with bringing about a right
relationship between human beings, fundamentally,
not superficially, just to adjust
themselves for the day. H: I don’t think that you’re
denying that larger questions are involved in that, you are
just saying that we shouldn’t have… invent ideas about
what a solution would be like. K: Yes. I come to you
with my problem : I cannot get on
with somebody, or I am terribly
depressed, or something
dishonest in me, I pretend.
I come to you. You are concerned to tell me
‘Become more honest.’ H: Yes. K: But not find out
what is real honesty. H: Don’t we get into
the problem of creating the idea of real honesty
at this point? K: No. It’s not an idea.
I am dishonest. H: Yes. K: You enquire, why are you dishonest?
H: Yes. K: Go… penetrate into it,
disturb me. Don’t pacify me. H: Yes. K: Don’t help me to say, well,
be a little more honest, and a little more this or that,
but shake me so that I find out
what is real honesty! H: Okay, that’s… K: I may break away from my
conditioning, from my wife, from my parents
– anything. You don’t disturb me. H: No, that’s…
K: That’s just my point. H: I do disturb you.
K: Partially. H: Well, what… K: You disturb me not to conform
to little adjustments. H: Well, let’s look at that.
K: Sorry. H: I disturb you to conform
to little adjustments. K: Yes. K: You don’t say to me, ‘Look,
you are dishonest, let’s go into it.’ H: I do say that. K: No, but go into it, so
that he is totally honest. H: Well, how deeply
do I need to go into it, so that I have
disturbed you totally? K: Yes. So you tell me.
Do it now, sir. H: Okay. You come in, and in our talks
we notice that the thing that you are up to is
that you are always trying to find some other person
to make your life be whole. K: Yes. I depend on somebody.
H: Yes, deeply. K: Deeply.
H: And you don’t even know that. K: Yes. H: So I disturb you. I tell you
that that’s what’s going on, and I show you
you’re doing it with me. K: Yes. H: I show you you’re doing it
with your husband. K: Yes. H: Now, is that sufficiently deep?
K: No. H: Why? K: What have you
shown me? A verbal picture… H: No, not verbal. Not verbal.
K: Wait, wait. H: Okay. K: Verbal picture,
an argument, a thing which tells me
that I am dishonest. Or whatever you tell me.
That leaves me where? H: If it’s verbal it just gives you
more knowledge about yourself. K: That’s all.
Knowledge about myself. H: Yes.
K: Will knowledge transform me? H: No.
K: No. Be careful, sir, careful. Then why do
I come to you? H: Well, not so that
I can give you knowledge. You come thinking that maybe
somehow I have some answers, because other people,
because the society is set up… K: Why don’t you tell me, ‘Old boy,
do it yourself, don’t depend on me.’ Go into it.
Find out, stir. H: Okay, I tell you that.
I tell you, ‘Go into it yourself’. And you say to me…
K: I can’t do it. H: I don’t know what
you’re talking about. K: That’s just it.
H: Yes. K: So, how will you help me to go
into myself and not depend on you? You understand my question?
H: Yes. K: Please, I’m not on the stage,
the only actor. Sir, this is really
a serious question. How will you help me
to go into myself so deeply, that I understand and go beyond.
You know what I mean? H: No, I don’t follow
what you mean. I understand how to help you go
into it without depending on me. K: I don’t want to depend on you.
I don’t want to depend on anybody. H: Okay. I can help you do that.
We can discover together that you are
depending on me, but I don’t know how deeply
this has to go. K: So you have to enquire
into dependence. H: Okay.
K: Why am I depending? Security.
H: Yes. K: Where is security?
Is there such thing as security? H: Well, I have these experiences
as I grew up that taught me
what security is. K: Yes, which is what?
A projected idea. H: Yes.
K: A principle. H: Yes.
K: A belief, a faith, a dogma, or an ideal,
which are all projected by me, or by you, and I accept those.
But they’re unreal. H: Okay.
K: So, can I push those away? H: Yes. And then you are
not depressed. K: Ah! I am dependent and
therefore I get angry, jealousy, all the rest of it.
That dependence makes me attached, and in that attachment there is
more fear, there is more anxiety, there is more… – you follow?
H: Yes. K: So, can you help me to be free
or find out what is true security? Is there a deep
abiding security? Not in furniture,
not in a house, not in my wife,
or in some idea – find deeply if there is such thing
as complete security. Sorry, I’m taking
all this… H: So you’re suggesting that
if I simply work on this with you, and you come to understand
that you’re dependent, that that’s
not sufficient, because you won’t have discovered
any abiding security. K: No. Because
that’s all I want. I’ve sought security
in this house, and it doesn’t,
there’s no security. I’ve sought security
in my wife, there isn’t any;
I change to another woman, but there isn’t any either.
Then I find security in a church, in a god, in a belief, in a faith,
in some other symbol. You see what is happening?
You are all externalising, if I can use that word, giving me security in things
in which there is no security – in nations,
all the rest of it. Could you help us
to find out if there is complete security
which is unshakeable? S: Are you suggesting that this is
one of our most fundamental needs, driving activities?
K: I should think so. S: So indeed it’s
a fundamental question as to whether this
sense of abiding unshakeable security is possible.
K: Yes. Yes. Because if once you have that
there is no problem any more. H: But this isn’t clear, because then
is it the individual that has that? K: No. Individual can
never have that security. Because he is
in himself divisive.

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