Without total freedom, every perception, every objective regard, is twisted. It is only the man who is totally free who can look and understand immediately. Freedom implies really, doesn't it, the total emptying of the mind. Completely to empty the whole content of the mind-that is real freedom. Freedom is not mere revolt from circumstances, which again breeds other circumstances, other environmental influences, which enslave the mind. We are talking about a freedom that comes naturally, easily, unasked for, when the mind is capable of functioning at its highest level.
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How very important it is to bring about in the human mind the radical revolution. The crisis is a crisis in consciousness, a crisis that cannot anymore accept the old norms, the old patterns, the ancient traditions. Considering what the world is now with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression and so on... man is still as he was, is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive and has built a society along these lines.
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The man who is not frightened of life is not frightened of being completely insecure for he understands that inwardly, psychologically, there is no security.....When there is no security there is an endless movement and then life and death are the same....The man who lives without conflict, who lives with beauty and love, is not frightened of death because to love is to die.
Identification with the rag called the national flag is an emotional and sentimental factor and for that factor you are willing to kill another - and that is called, the love of your country, love of the neighbor . . .? One can see that where sentiment and emotion come in, love is not.
Why is one a slave to thought ? Why has thought become so important in all our lives -thought being ideas, being the response to the accumulated memories in the brain cells? Perhaps many of you have not even asked such a question before, or if you have you may have said, "it's of very little importance- what is important is emotion." But I don't see how you can separate the two. If thought does not give continuity to feeling, feeling dies very quickly. So why in our daily lives, in our grinding, boring, frightened lives, has thought taken on such inordinate importance?
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You say you love your wife. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being. Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don't like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence. So what you are really saying is, 'As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don't I begin to hate you.
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Perception without the word, which is without thought, is one of the strangest phenomena. Then the perception is much more acute, not only with the brain, but also with all the senses. Such perception is not the fragmentary perception of the intellect nor the affair of the emotions. It can be called a total perception, and it is part of meditation.
You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece of the truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to help him organize it."
You haven't changed. You may say: 'I'm full of love, I'm full of truth, I'm full of knowledge, I'm full of wisdom.' I say: 'That's all nonsense. Do you behave? Are you free of fear? Are you free of ambition, greed, envy and the desire to achieve success in every field? If not, you are just playing a game. You are not serious.'
A conditioned mind may be inventive; it may think up new ideas, new phrases, new gadgets; it may build a dam, plan a new society, and all the rest of it; but that is not creativity. Creativity is something much more than the mere capacity to acquire a technique. It is because this extraordinary thing called creativity is not in most of us that we are so shallow, empty, insufficient. And only the mind that is free can be creative.
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You may be perfect in playing the piano, and not be creative; you may play the piano most brilliantly, and not be a musician. You may be able to handle color, to put paint on canvas most cleverly, and not be a creative painter. You may create a face, an image out of a stone, because you have learned the technique, and not be a master creator. Creation comes first, not technique...
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We want the children to conform; we want to control their minds, to shape their conduct, their way of living, so that they will fit into the pattern of society, That is what every parent wants, is it not? And that is exactly what is happening, whether it be in America or in Europe, in Russia or in India. The pattern may vary slightly, but they all want the child to conform.
Surely education has no meaning unless it helps you understand the vast experience of life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys. You may earn degrees, you may have a series of letters after your name and land a good job, but then what? What is the point of it all if in the process your mind becomes dull, weary, stupid?
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A dialogue is very important. It is a form of communication in which question and answer continue till a question is left without an answer. Thus the question is suspended between the two persons involved in this answer and question. It is like a bud with untouched blossoms . . . If the question is left totally untouched by thought, it then has its own answer because the questioner and answerer, as persons, have disappeared. This is a form of dialogue in which investigation reaches a certain point of intensity and depth, which then has a quality that thought can never reach.
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...it is important to understand, not intellectually but actually in your daily life, how you have built images about your wife, your husband, your neighbor, your child, your country, your leaders, your politicians, your gods-you have nothing but images. The images create the space between you and what you observe and in that space there is conflict, so what we are going to find out now together is whether it is possible to be free of the space we create, not only outside ourselves but in ourselves, the space which divides people in all their relationships...
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There are those who don't believe in God and yet do good. There are those who believe in God and kill for that belief; those who prepare for war because they claim they want peace, and so on. So one has to ask oneself what need there is to believe at all in anything, though this doesn't deny the extraordinary mystery of life. But belief is a word, a thought, and this is not the thing, anymore than your name is actually you. Through experience you hope to touch the truth of your belief, to prove it to yourself, but this belief conditions your experience. It isn't that the experience comes to prove the belief, but rather that the belief begets the experience. Your belief in God will give you the experience of what you call God. You will always experience what you believe and nothing else.
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If I am all the time measuring myself against you, struggling to be like you, then I am denying what I am myself. Therefore I am creating an illusion. When I have understood that comparison in any form leads only to greater illusion and greater misery, just as when I analyse myself, add to my knowledge of myself bit by bit, or identify myself with something outside myself, whether it be the State, a saviour or an ideology - when I understand that all such processes lead only to greater conformity and therefore greater conflict - when I see all this I put it completely away. Then my mind is no longer seeking. It is very important to understand this. Then my mind is no longer groping, searching, questioning. This does not mean that my mind is satisfied with things as they are, but such a mind has no illusion. Such a mind can then move in a totally different dimension. The dimension in which we usually live, the life of every day which is pain, pleasure and fear, has conditioned the mind, limited the nature of the mind, and when that pain, pleasure and fear have gone (which does not mean that you no longer have joy: joy is something entirely different from pleasure) - then the mind functions in a different dimension in which there is no conflict, no sense of `otherness'.
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When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love. Love is the missing factor; there is a lack of affection, of warmth in relationship; and because we lack that love, that tenderness, that generosity, that mercy in relationship, we escape into mass action which produces further confusion, further misery. We fill our hearts with blueprints for world reform and do not look to that one resolving factor which is love.
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Things, relationship, and ideas are so transparently impermanent, we are ever made unhappy by them... Things are impermanent, they wear out and are lost; relationship is constant friction and death awaits; ideas and beliefs have no stability, no permanency. We seek happiness in them and yet do not realize their impermanency. So sorrow becomes our constant companion and overcoming it our problem.
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To understand a child we have to watch him at play, study him in his different moods; we cannot project upon him our own prejudices, hopes and fears, or mould him to fit the pattern of our desires. If we are constantly judging the child according to our personal likes and dislikes, we are bound to create barriers and hindrances in our relationship with him and in his relationships with the world. Unfortunately, most of us desire to shape the child in a way that is gratifying to our own vanities and idiosyncrasies; we find varying degrees of comfort and satisfaction in exclusive ownership and domination.
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There is an efficiency inspired by love which goes far beyond and is much greater than the efficiency of ambition; and without love, which brings an integrated understanding of life, efficiency breeds ruthlessness. Is this not what is actually taking place all over the world? Our present education is geared to industrialization and war, its principal aim being to develop efficiency; and we are caught in this machine of ruthless competition and mutual destruction. If education leads to war, if it teaches us to destroy or be destroyed, has it not utterly failed?
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One saw a bird dying, shot by a man. It was flying with rhythmic beat and beautifully, with such freedom and lack of fear. And the gun shattered it; it fell to the earth and all the life had gone out of it. A dog fetched it, and the man collected other dead birds. He was chattering with his friend and seemed so utterly indifferent. All that he was concerned with was bringing down so many birds, and it was over as far as he was concerned. They are killing all over the world. Those marvellous, great animals of the sea, the whales, are killed by the million, and the tiger and so many other animals are now becoming endangered species. Man is the only animal that is to be dreaded.
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Identification with the rag called the national flag is an emotional and sentimental factor and for that factor you are willing to kill another - and that is called, the love of your country, love of the neighbor... ? One can see that where sentiment and emotion come in, love is not.
One was watching the other day a red-tailed hawk, high in the heavens, circling effortlessly, without a beat of the wing, just for the fun of flying, just to be sustained by the air-currents. Then it was joined by another, and they were flying together for quite a while. They were marvellous creatures in that blue sky, and to hurt them in any way is a crime against heaven. Of course there is no heaven; man has invented heaven out of hope, for his life has become a hell, an endless conflict from birth to death, coming and going, making money, working endlessly. This life has become a turmoil, a travail of endless striving. One wonders if man, a human being, will ever live on this earth peacefully. Conflict has been the way of his life - within the skin and outside the skin, in the area of the psyche and in the society which that psyche has created.
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There is no method of self-knowledge. Seeking a method invariably implies the desire to attain some result - and that is what we all want. We follow authority - if not that of a person, then of a system, of an ideology - because we want a result that will be satisfactory, which will give us security. We really do not want to understand ourselves, our impulses and reactions, the whole process of our thinking, the conscious as well as the unconscious; we would rather pursue a system that assures us of a result. But the pursuit of a system is invariably the outcome of our desire for security, for certainty, and the result is obviously not the understand of oneself., When we follow a method, we must have authorities - the teacher, the guru, the savior, the Master - who will guarantee us what we desire, and surely that is not the way of self-knowledge. Authority prevents the understanding of oneself, does it not? Under the shelter of an authority, a guide, you may have temporarily a sense of security, a sense of well-being, but that is not the understanding of the total process of oneself. Authority in its very nature prevents the full awareness of oneself and therefore ultimately destroys freedom; in freedom alone can there be creativeness. There can be creativeness only through self-knowledge.
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I am asking myself what is fear not what I am afraid of. I lead a certain kind of life; I think in a certain pattern; I have certain beliefs and dogmas and I don't want those patterns of existence to be disturbed because I have my roots in them. I don't want them to be disturbed because the disturbance produces a state of unknowing and I dislike that. If I am torn away from everything I know and believe, I want to be reasonably certain of the state of things to which I am going. So the brain cells have created a pattern and those brain cells refuse to create another pattern which may be uncertain. The movement from certainty to uncertainty is what I call fear.
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Most of us waste this extraordinary thing called life. We have lived forty or sixty years, have gone to the office, engaged ourselves in social activity, escaping in various forms, and at the end of it, we have nothing but an empty, dull, stupid life, a wasted life. Now, please has created this pattern of social life. We take pleasure in ambition, in competition, in acquiring knowledge or power, or position, prestige, status. And that pursuit of pleasure as ambition, competition, greed, envy, status, domination, power is respectable. It is made respectable by a society which has only one concept: that you shall lead a moral life, which is a respectable life. You can be ambitious, you can be greedy, you can be violent, you can be competitive, you can be a ruthless human being, but society accepts it, because at the end of your ambition, you are either so called successful man with plenty of money, or a failure and therefore a frustrated human being. So social morality is immorality.
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Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence. Silence put together by thought is stagnation, is dead, but the silence that comes when thought has understood its own beginning, the nature of itself, understood how all thought is never free but always old - this silence is meditation in which the meditator is entirely absent, for the mind has emptied itself of the past.
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To put it differently, as long as mind and heart are caught up in want, in desire, there must be emptiness. You want things, ideas, persons, only when you are conscious of your own emptiness, and that wanting creates a choice. When there is craving there must be choice, and choice precipitates you into the conflict of experiences. You have the capacity to choose, and thereby you limit yourself by your choice. Only when mind is free from choice is there liberation.
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Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.
But there's a sacredness which is not of thought, nor of a feeling resuscitated by thought. It is not recognizable by thought nor can it be utilized by thought. Thought cannot formulate it. But there's a sacredness, untouched by any symbol or word. It is not communicable. It is a fact.
To be free, you have to examine authority, the whole skeleton of authority, tearing to pieces the whole dirty thing. And that requires energy, actual physical energy, and also it demands psychological energy. By the energy is destroyed, is wasted when one is in conflict. So when there is the understanding of the whole process of conflict, there is the ending of conflict, there is abundance of energy. Then you can proceed tearing the house that you have built throughout the centuries and that has no meaning at all. You know, to destroy is to create. We must destroy, not the buildings, not the social or economic system, - this comes about daily - but the psychological, the unconscious and the rationally, individually, deeply and superficially. We must tear through all that to be utterly defenseless, because you must be defenseless to love and have affection. Then you see and understand ambition, authority, and you begin to see when authority is necessary and at what level. Then there is no authority of learning, no authority of knowledge, no authority of capacity; no authority that function assumes and which becomes status. To understand all authority - of the gurus, of the Masters, and others - requires a very sharp mind, a clear brain, not a muddy brain, not a dull brain.
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To inquire and to learn is the function of the mind, By learning I do not mean the mere cultivation of memory or the accumulation of knowledge, but the capacity to think clearly and sanely without illusion, to start from facts and not from beliefs and ideals. There is no learning if thought originates from conclusions. Merely to acquire information of knowledge is to not to learn. Learning implies the love of understanding and the love of doing a thing for itself. Learning is possible only when there is no coercion through influence, thought attachment or threat, through persuasive encouragement or subtle forms of reward. Most people think that learning is encouraged through comparison, whereas the contrary is the fact. Comparison brings about frustration and merely encourages envy, which is called competition. Like other forms of persuasion, comparison prevents learning and breeds fear.
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The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as on is, not as on wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and there for fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be. To know oneself as one is requires and extraordinary alertness of mind, because what is, is constantly undergoing transformation, change; and to follow it swiftly the mind must not be tethered to any particular dogma or belief, to any particular pattern of action. If you would follow anything, it is no good being tethered. To know yourself, there must be the awareness, the alertness of mind in which there is freedom from all beliefs, from all idealization, because beliefs and ideals only give you a color, perverting true perception. If you want to know what you are, you cannot imagine or have belief in something which you are not. If I am greedy, envious, violent, merely having an ideal of non-violence, of non-greed, is of little value. The understanding of what you are, whatever it be - ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous - the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.
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We carry about us the burden of what thousands of people have said and the memories of all our misfortunes. To abandon all that is to be alone, and the mind that is alone is not only innocent but young - not in time or age, but young, innocent, alive at whatever age - and only such a mind can see that which is truth and that which is not measurable by words.
Why are we such tortured human beings, with tears in our eyes and false laughter on our lips? If you could walk alone among those hills or in the woods or along the long, white, bleached sands, in that solitude you would know what meditation is. The ecstasy of solitude comes when you are not frightened to be alone no longer belonging to the world or attached to anything. Then, like that dawn that came up this morning, it comes silently, and makes a golden path in the very stillness, which was at the beginning, which is now, and which will be always there.
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