Knowledge and the transformation of man
Dialogue 1 - San Diego, California,USA - 18 February 1974
Q: Is there freedom in knowledge?
It is our business as human beings to realize the enormous suffering, misery, confusion in the world. Do we realize with all seriousness our responsibility to the whole of mankind?
Do we see the basic factor that we are the world, that the world is not separate from us?
What place has knowledge, experience in changing the quality of a mind that has become violent, petty, selfish, greedy, ambitious?
What are the limits of knowledge? Can the mind be free from the known, not verbally but actually?
Knowledge and conflict in human relationships
Dialogue 2 - San Diego, California,USA - 18 February 1974
Q: What place has knowledge in relationship?
There must be freedom from the known, otherwise the known is merely the repetition of the past, the tradition, the image.
The observer is tradition, the past, the conditioned mind that looks at things, at itself, at the world.
When the observer observes he does so with memories, experience, hurts, despairs, hopes, with the background of knowledge.
Whenever man operates with that knowledge in relationships there is division and therefore conflict.
What is communication with others?
Dialogue 3 - San Diego, California,USA - 19 February 1974
Q: What does it mean to be serious?
In the word ‘communication’ is implied the art of listening.
Listening demands a quality of attention in which there is a real sense of having an insight as we go along, each second.
Communication implies that we must be at the same level at the same time, with the same intensity, walking together on the same road, thinking together in the same tongue, observing together, sharing together.
Responsibility means total commitment. The world is in a mess and it's my responsibility, living in this world as a human being who has created this mess, to be serious about its resolution.
What is a responsible human being?
Dialogue 4 - San Diego, California,USA - 19 February 1974
Q: What is responsibility in human relationship?
What is your responsibility for human growth, human culture, human goodness? What is your responsibility to the earth?
When you feel responsible for a child there is a flowering of real affection and care and you don't train him or condition him to kill another for the sake of your country.
Human beings are now conditioned to be irresponsible. What are the serious people going to do with the irresponsible people?
If you show me how irresponsible I am, what responsibility means, you care for me. When there is total responsibility in which freedom and care go together, the mind has no image in relationship.
Order comes from the understanding of our disorder
Dialogue 5 - San Diego, California,USA - 20 February 1974
Q: What is order in freedom?
Unless we understand the nature and structure of disorder we can never find out what is order. How has the whole phenomenon of disorder come about?
Is order something imposed, a discipline, which is conformity, suppression, imitation? Is order acceptance, obedience?
Unless we understand the movement of thought we cannot understand disorder. A mind that is caught in measurement can never find truth. Is it possible to look without measurement?
Is it possible to live a life, the whole of life, acting, laughing, crying, without a shadow of comparison?
The nature and total eradication of fear
Dialogue 6 - San Diego, California,USA - 20 February 1974
Q: Can the mind be free of fear?
Physical fears and psychological fears are interrelated. There are conscious as well as unconscious fears.
The racial fears, the fears that society has taught me, the fears that the family has imposed, all those crawling, ugly, brutal things that are hidden, how can they all come up naturally and be exposed so that the mind sees them completely?
What is the answer to this fact of fear which has been carried on from generation to generation?
Is there a way of dealing with fear, not the branches but the root of it?
Behind the words, the descriptions, the explanations, what is fear?
Understanding, not controlling, desire
Dialogue 7 - San Diego, California,USA - 21 February 1974
Q: What is pleasure? What is desire?
We are not condemning pleasure but observing it. To go into the question of pleasure one has to look into desire. Through propaganda desire is inflamed.
What is desire? How does it come about that this very strong desire is born, cultivated? Must desire be controlled at all? Desire seems to be a very active and demanding instinct that is going on all the time.
Why has pleasure, whether of sex, possession, power, knowledge or enlightenment, become so extraordinarily important in life? Pleasure is an extraordinary thing. To see a beautiful thing and to enjoy it, what is wrong with that?
Does pleasure bring happiness?
Dialogue 8 - San Diego, California,USA - 21 February 1974
Q: What relationship has pleasure to joy? Is pleasure happiness?
Is there any relationship between pleasure and enjoyment? What is pleasure and what keeps it going? What is the pursuit, the constant direction of it?
A single tree standing on the hill. You see that it is really beautiful, the flowers, the deer, the meadows, the water, and the single tree and its shadow. It is almost breath-taking.
Does thought then come along and say how extraordinary it was, what a delight it was? Isn't there then desire for repetition? So thought gives nourishment, sustains it and gives a direction to pleasure. Why should thought come into it at all?
Sorrow, passion and beauty
Dialogue 9 - San Diego, California,USA - 22 February 1974
Q: What is beauty?
We are becoming more and more artificial, superficial and verbal. Has man lost touch with nature? Has he lost the delicacy, the sensitivity of the mind, heart and body?
What is beauty? Must it be expressed? Does it need the word, the stone, the colour, the paint, or is it something that cannot be put into words, into a building, a statue?
Without passion you can't have beauty. Passion comes when there is suffering. Remaining with that suffering, not escaping from it, brings passion. Passion means the complete abandonment of the ‘me’, the self, the ego, and therefore the austerity of great beauty.
The art of listening
Dialogue 10 - San Diego, California,USA - 22 February 1974
Q: What is seeing? What is listening? What is learning?
Do we see actually or through a screen darkly, through a screen of prejudice, a screen of our experiences, wishes, pleasures, fears, between us and the object of perception? Do we ever see the thing at all?
Does the act of listening bring about complete freedom from all statements? Is the mind completely attentive? Then the mind is extraordinarily free to act. Then the seeing is doing.
I learn in order to gain reward or avoid punishment. I learn a particular job or craft to earn a livelihood. Is learning a process of accumulation? Is there any other kind of learning that is not accumulating, and acting from that?
Have we learned anything from sorrow? What is there to learn?
Being hurt and hurting others
Dialogue 11 - San Diego, California,USA - 25 February 1974
Q: What is a religious life?
The word ‘religion’ means gathering together all energy, at all levels, so that it will bring about great attention. Can the mind be so totally attentive that the unnameable comes into being?
What is the quality, structure, nature of a mind, and therefore of a heart and brain, that can perceive something beyond the measurement of thought, something that is not only sacred and holy in itself but that is capable of seeing something immense?
In discussing religion we ought to inquire into the nature of hurt, because a mind that is not hurt is an innocent mind. Can our hurts be healed so that not a mark is left and can future hurts be prevented, without any resistance?
Love, sex and pleasure
Dialogue 12 - San Diego, California,USA - 25 February 1974
Q: What is love?
Is love pleasure, the expression of desire? Is love the fulfilment of sexual appetite?
Is love the pursuit of a desired end? Is love a thing that can be cultivated?
Love has been identified with sex which means, basically, with pleasure. Why have we made sex such an enormous, fantastic, romantic, sentimental affair? What is the relationship of joy, enjoyment and pleasure to love?
To come upon this thing called love you must understand the place of pleasure. A mind that has been trained, sustained in this rotten social conditioning must first free itself before it can talk about love.
A different way of living
Dialogue 13 - San Diego, California,USA - 26 February 1974
Q: What is living?
What actually is existence, living, this whole field of man's endeavour to better himself, not only in the technological world but also psychologically? Man wants to be different, he wants to be more than he is.
Isn't the way we live most impractical, an insane way of living, destructive, with utter indifference to the earth? Is this the way to behave, to appreciate the beauty of living? Is there a way of living without conflict?
As a human being am I ever conscious? And what is consciousness? Is consciousness its content? Is death a continuity of that consciousness, or the ending of consciousness with its content?
Death, life and love are indivisible
Dialogue 14 - San Diego, California,USA - 26 February 1974
Q: What is death?
If one is not frightened then what is death? What is it one is frightened of in death? Is it of losing the content of consciousness?
Death becomes living when the content of consciousness, which makes its own frontier, its own limitations, comes to an end. Can that content empty itself?
Can the mind be aware totally of all the content: the collective, the personal, the racial, the transitory?
You can only incarnate now when you die to the content. You can be reborn, regenerate totally if you die to the content. So living is dying.
Living, love and death are one, moving and indivisible, and that is immortal.
Religion, authority and education - Part 1
Dialogue 15 - San Diego, California,USA - 27 February 1974
Q: What is religion?
In the West and the East, in the world of Islam, Buddhism or Christianity the same principle goes on, worshipping an image which has been created. It is the human being that has created the image. Can the mind observe this phenomenon and see its own demand for security, permanency, and deny all that?
Why does the mind divide life, accepting authority in one way and denying it in another? We accept the tyranny of a petty little guru with fanciful ideas and reject a political tyranny or a dictatorship.
What is the importance of authority? What is behind this acceptance of authority?
Religion, authority and education - Part 2
Dialogue 16 - San Diego, California,USA - 27 February 1974
How am I to inquire into religion?
What is religion, what is God, what is immortality, what is beauty? Can the mind put aside totally the structure of thought with regard to religion?
Can the mind be free of the authority of another, however divine or not divine? Can the mind put away everything that man has taught, invented, imagined about religion, God? Can wisdom be sought through a book, a teacher, from another, through sacrifice, torture, renunciation?
Can the mind be free of all the things that are born of fear, desire, pleasure?
Your thoughts, speech and behaviour are the very essence of religion. If they are not, religion can't exist.
Meditation, a quality of attention that pervades all of one’s life
Dialogue 17 - San Diego, California,USA - 28 February 1974
Q: What is meditation?
Do we accept the orthodox, traditional, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi meditation, or could we put away all that and ask: what is meditation?
To start from not knowing what meditation is, then I'm free to flow in the inquiry.
Is meditation divorced from daily living or does meditation cover the whole field of existence?
In my inquiry am I awake or is the past so alive that it is dictating my life in the present?
Is there a way of living without control? Can I live a life of meditation in which there is no control?
Meditation and the sacred mind
Dialogue 18 - San Diego, California,USA - 28 February 1974
Q: What place has will in meditation?
Can you be choicelessly aware of this movement of desire, control, will, action?
What is space? Do we have space? Can the mind have space? When the mind is occupied with family, business, God, drink, sex, is there space? When knowledge occupies the whole field of the mind there is no space. Outward space is not going to give inner space.
There is no silence when there is direction. Can the mind empty itself of its content? Can the mind, the brain, the body be really silent? When the mind is utterly silent what is the immeasurable? In silence, time stops.