Date: Fri, 5 June 1964 00:00:00 GMT
My friends, we must not fight with ourselves, we must know ourselves. All of the inconsistencies and self-contradictions that have developed in us because of our ignorance about the self will evaporate in the light of self-knowledge - just like the dew that falls on the grass disappears with the rising of the sun.
I quite understand your curiosity and your eagerness for knowledge. You are eager to know and to understand the truth. You want to unfold the mystery of life so that you can attain its fullness. But what we now call life is not really life at all. It can just as well be called a long, drawn-out process of dying. It is true that you cannot attain life without knowing it. Birth is one thing and life is quite another. There is a vast difference between just managing to stay alive and the consummation of life. The difference is as great as that between death and immortality. Death is the inevitable end of life, while the perfecting of one's life is crowned by a life that is divine.
For those who wish to lead a divine life, who want to know God and truth, it seems to me there are two kinds of approach. One is the approach of morality; the other, of religion. Morality and religion are not usually viewed as two different paths. They are regarded as two successive steps on the same ladder. It is generally believed that for a man to become religious he must first become moral.
But this is not my view.
I will tell you what I have known. I do not find that a moral man is essentially a religious man although a religious man is invariably moral. One does not become religious merely by becoming moral, nor is morality the starting-point, the basis of religion. On the contrary, morality is the result of becoming religious. The flowers of morality bloom on the plant of religion. Morality is the expression of a religious life. I look upon religion and morality as two different paths - not only different but opposite to each other.
Morality, discipline, means the purification of conduct, the purification of behavior. It is an attempt to change man's personality on the periphery. This periphery of the personality is the result of our dealings with others. It is one's behavior, one's relations with others. How I behave or act with others is my behavior. Behavior is a relationship.
I am not alone; I am surrounded by people on all sides. And since I am in a society, I come into contact with and have relations with someone or other every moment of my life. These inter- relationships seem to be what our lives are. And the goodness or badness of my behavior depends on whether my relationships are good or bad.
We are taught good conduct. We are told it is necessary because of society, that it is a social necessity. But society has nothing to do with you, with your simple, natural personality. From that point of view, society would lose nothing if you ceased to exist. It is only when you are related to someone or to something that you become important to society. It is not you but your dealings with others that are important to society. It is not you but your behavior that is significant. It is therefore not surprising that good conduct is the aim of the education transmitted by society. To society, man is his conduct and nothing more.
But this education in good conduct, this morality society teaches creates an illusion. It has created a very fundamental illusion. It is only natural that those who are eager to realize God and to attain religion believe it is necessary to become virtuous to attain truth and righteousness. It is natural that they believe the realization of God is only possible through right-conduct and that one must acquire virtue before the advent of truth. It is natural that they believe the realization of religion and truth will develop out of a life of morality alone, that morality is the base and religion the peak, that morality is the seed and religion the fruit, that morality is the cause and religion the effect. This line of thinking seems to be very clear and correct but I want to tell you that this apparently simple and clear line of thinking is totally misleading and it gives a perverted view of the true facts. The truth of the matter is something quite different.
As a matter of fact, the teaching of morality cannot make a man moral, let alone religious. it can merely make man social and being social is wrongly taken for being moral. Mere good behavior does not make a man moral. That transformation requires an inner purification. Without transforming your inner being you cannot change your conduct. To try to change the periphery without changing the center is a pipe dream. The effort is not only futile, it is harmful. It is suicidal. It is nothing but forcing affliction on oneself.
No doubt this suppression satisfies the needs of society but the individual cracks under it and is shattered. It creates a rift, a duality in him. His personality loses its natural simplicity and he suffers from the conflict within himself. It is a continuous struggle, an eternal internal fight that can never end in victory. This is satisfying the needs of society at the cost of the individual. I call this social violence.
Whatever man expresses through his behavior is unimportant. The really important things are the inner causes that lead to that behavior. Behavior is an indication of the inner spirit, it is not the root. Behavior is the outward expression of the inner spirit. Only ignorant people try to change the outward expression without changing the cause of that expression.
This kind of sadhana is useless; it can never bear fruit. It is like the behavior of a man who tries to destroy a tree by cutting off its branches. Such an action, instead of destroying the tree is more likely to promote its growth. The life of a tree is not in its branches, it is in its roots, in the invisible roots buried in the earth. It is the latent hopes and desires of the roots that have taken the form of the tree and its branches. How will cutting the branches help? If you really want to bring about a revolution in life you must go to the roots. The roots of man's behavior are in his inner being. Behavior follows the inner being. The inner being does not follow one's behavior. Therefore any effort to change behavior inevitably takes the form of suppression. And can suppression bring about any transformation?
What is suppression anyway.? Suppression is not allowing spontaneous feelings to grow in the inner being and not allowing their expression; it is forcibly bringing up and expressing what is not really there.
But where will what we suppress go? Will we be free of it? How can we achieve freedom by suppression? The suppressed feelings will continue to be there within us, but they will now have to find deeper, darker and more unconscious recesses in which to live. They will enter still deeper regions. They will hide themselves where even our awareness of suppression will not be able to locate them. But the roots that have gone deep will continue to sprout, the branches will blossom and bear fruit, and then there will be such a conflict between our conscious and unconscious minds that the ultimate result will be madness.
Madness is the natural outcome of a civilization based on this kind of false, hollow morality.
Therefore madness increases with the advance of civilization and the time may come when our whole civilization will end in madness. The last two great wars were this kind of madness and we are heading towards a third, perhaps the final conflict.
The explosions that happen in a man's personal life and those that occur in society - violence, rape, immorality, brutality - are all the results of suppression. A man cannot lead a moral and natural life because of suppressions and one day he simply succumbs to the tension. No doubt those who resort to hypocrisy save themselves from this inner conflict. They pretend to be what they are not.
They are free from any inner conflict because they are always acting out some role.
Hypocrisy too is born out of morality based on suppression. It is a means of keeping oneself free of inner conflict. As I have already said, in our so-called moral lives we do not allow spontaneous feelings to grow and to be expressed but we express feelings that are not really there. The first of the two processes leads to suppression; the second, to hypocrisy. Ultimately, the first process turns you into a madman; the second, into a hypocrite. Neither of these results is any good; neither is worthy of you. Unfortunately, our civilization only offers these two alternatives. But there is a third alternative as well: living the life of an animal. The criminal is born out of this alternative. If we wish to save ourselves from this, from becoming animals, then in our civilization we only have two alternatives.
Becoming an animal means complete surrender to unconscious instincts. This too is impossible because what has become conscious in man cannot become unconscious again. We seek this very unconsciousness when we get drunk. The search for intoxicants is an indication of our desire to become animals. Only when he is thoroughly drunk and unconscious is man in conformity with nature, with the animal. But this is tantamount to death. This is serious and deserves our very careful consideration.
How does a man become an animal when he is drunk and why does he seek intoxication in order to become an animal? It is indicative of the fact that consciousness in man is not part of the animal world or of nature but is a part of the Godhead. it is a possibility of the soul. It is a seed, not to be destroyed but to be nurtured. On its full growth depend freedom, liberation and bliss.
Then what shall we do? Civilization gives us three alternatives: that of the animal, of the madman and of the hypocrite. By any change is there a fourth alternative?
Yes, there is a fourth alternative. I call it religion. It is the path of intelligence and intuition, not of bestiality, madness or hypocrisy. it is not the path of indulgence, suppression or role-playing, it is the way of real life and of knowledge.
It bears the fruit of good conduct and it eliminates the animal in man; it does not suppress unconscious passions but frees man from their grip; it does not lead to the pretense of good conduct but to real living. It is not merely assuming a mask or any outward behavior, it is the transformation of the inner being. It is not social but personal satisfaction. It does not change our relationships but transforms our very selves. Relationships automatically change as a consequence. It brings about a revolution in one's being, where one resides within oneself. Then everything around is automatically transformed.
Morality is social; religion, entirely personal. Morality is behavior; religion, the inner being. Morality is the periphery; religion, the center. Morality is personality; religion, the soul. Religion does not follow on the tail of morality but morality invariably follows religion. Morality cannot even succeed in making a man moral, so how then can it make him religious? Morality begins with suppression, with piling things on oneself, whereas religion starts with knowledge.
In life we find evil, impurity and untruth. We must find their roots. Where and how is evil born? Where is the center from which these poisons come and make one's behavior venomous? Even when one thinks of virtue, of good, why does evil drive away all these thoughts and engulf one, surrounding one's life, permeating one's conduct? Why does passion always re-route one's thoughts?
We must be observant and find this out for ourselves. Conclusions borrowed from others do not help because it is during the process of observation, during self-observation, and by this observation alone that the power and energy to disintegrate and destroy the very source that begets and sustains evil is generated. In itself this continuous observation is a sadhana because it is not just a method of knowing evil but of eliminating it as well. By observing the "I" inside, by becoming awake and watchful towards it, light reaches the dark recesses within. And this light not only illuminates the roots of one's conduct, it begins to transform them.
Always bear this maxim in mind: observation not only brings knowledge, it transforms as well.
Actually, observation brings knowledge and knowledge causes transformation. Knowledge itself is transformation, the transformation of one's whole existence. It is just like digging away the earth to locate the roots of a tree and to expose them to the light. Not only will this enable me to know the roots well, but by bringing the roots out of the darkness and by separating them from the earth I can bring about their destruction as well. And while I keep on watching the roots of the tree, the branches will wither away.
Observation can bring about the destruction of the roots of passion. They cannot bear the light. Evil cannot bear knowledge. When Socrates said, "Knowledge is virtue," he most likely meant to convey this very thing. I too say the very same thing: knowledge is virtue; ignorance is evil. Light is morality; darkness, immorality.
Observation, the constant observation of oneself, of the mind's unconscious tendencies, awakens the consciousness and allows it to penetrate into the unconscious mind. The unconscious enters the conscious through the door of stupor, ignorance, intoxication and carelessness, and is able to dominate it. We have seen that animalistic tendencies develop out of attachment. Anger and lust grab hold of us only when we are unconscious and then we look for intoxicants to help satisfy our animal instincts.
Consciousness enters the unconscious mind through the overcoming of stupor, through vigilance, watchfulness and awareness, and it establishes its authority there. To the degree watchfulness and awareness grow in us and to the degree right-mindfulness and observation of our tendencies, acts, passions and desires develop in us, it is to that same extent that consciousness fills us. And those drives and outbursts of passion, those blind, unconscious impulses disappear because they can only exist in a condition of sleep, insensibility and delusion. They cannot exist in a state of consciousness.
Bear in mind that nobody has ever done anything wrong while in his right senses, while conscious.
All sin is born out of attachment. it is attachment itself. To my mind, attachment alone is sinful.
Observation banishes attachment. Therefore it is important for you to see what observation is and how it can be brought about.
What is self-observation then? I sit quietly, just as I explained yesterday when we spoke of the experiment in right-mindfulness, and I observe whatever happens within me. There is a world of thought and passions inside. I observe that world. I keep on looking at it just as a man standing on the shore looks at the waves in the sea. Krishnamurti has called this "choiceless awareness". It is completely detached observation.
Detachment means I make neither choice nor decision. I do not label any passion or desire as good or bad. I do not make any judgment between good and evil, between virtue and vice. I simply observe. I simply become a witness, standing aloof and apart, as if I have no interest other than knowing and watching. The moment a purpose creeps in, the moment a choice or a judgment comes in, observation comes to an end. Then I am not observing; then I have begun to think.
Please try to understand the difference between thinking and observation. In this process we are not to think. Thinking is the action of the conscious within the conscious, while observation is the penetration of the unconscious by the conscious. As soon as thinking comes in, one begins to make a distinction between good and evil, and suppression starts in a subtle way. The unconscious then closes its doors and the knowledge of its mysteries is hidden from us. The unconscious reveals its secrets not to thought but to observation, because in the absence of suppression the impulses and tendencies of the unconscious rise up naturally, spontaneously, in their total nakedness and reality, and it is then no longer necessary to hide those impulses, tendencies and passions. The unconscious stands before us in its nakedness, completely uncovered. And what terror it causes!
How frightened a man is when he sees the naked form that resides deep in his own self! He feels like closing his eyes to it. He feels like abandoning this observation of the depths and returning to the worldly plane.
This is the time when a man's courage and tranquility are put to the test. This, I would say, is the moment of atonement. Those who pass through this moment with courage and calmness become masters of knowledge and a wonderful mystery unfolds before them. They have a direct view of the roots of passion and they enter the very heart of the unconscious. And this entry brings them a kind of supernatural freedom.
From meditation to observation, from observation to knowledge, from knowledge to freedom - this is the path. This is the path of religion, of yoga. I want you to understand this path and to walk along it. Then you will know the alchemy of the transformation f conduct by inner revolution. Then you will realize that religion, not morality, is the fundamental thing and that morality flows out of religion. it is not morality but religion that is the sadhana to be practiced. Morality follows in the wake of religion like the track so the wheel s of a bullock-cart follow the cart. If this becomes clear to you, you will see a very great truth, and a great illusion will be dispersed.
I look at the transformation of mankind from the standpoint of this inner revolution, of this penetration of the unconscious by the conscious. On the basis of this knowledge a new man can be brought into being and the foundations of a new culture and a new humanity can be laid. Such a man, one that has been awakened by self-knowledge, is naturally moral. He does not have to cultivate morality.
Neither is it the result of his actions nor of his endeavors. it radiates from him as light radiates from a lamp. His good conduct is not based on opposition to his unconscious mind but comes out of the fullness of his inner being. He does everything with his total being. There is neither duality nor multiplicity in him, but unity. Such a man is integrated; such a man is free of duality.
And the divine music one hears when one has gone beyond all conflicts and shackles is neither of this world nor of this space. There is a timeless symphony, a blissful note, that reverberates in us at that moment of peace, innocence and freedom from all discord. The very rhythm of this music brings one in tune with the infinite.
To me, this realization is God.