MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN MADRAS 3RD PUBLIC TALK 1ST JANUARY, 1983 'ON TIME'


We have been talking over together, in a conversation between two people, the very complex process of our living from the time we are born till we die. We talked about whether it is possible at all to live a life without a single shadow of conflict - conflict in our relationship with each other, however intimate or far away. Conflict brings about disorder, and as long as each one of us lives in disorder, we cannot possibly bring about a psychological revolution in the structure of society. This evening we ought to talk over the nature of time, desire, fear, pleasure, and whether sorrow, which happens to be the lot of man throughout the world, has an end to it. Together you and the speaker are going to investigate the nature of time, explore desire which is very complex, and talk over together as to whether there is an end to sorrow. Because, where there is sorrow, there cannot be love, there can be no compassion, there can be no intelligence. So, it is important that you and the speaker meet at the same level, at the same time, with the same intensity. Otherwise, there will be no possibility of communication. One hopes we will meet on the same level because, the speaker has no authority, he is not telling you what to do, or what you should do with your life; but when we are together, discussing, having a dialogue over a problem, that problem is the concern of both the speaker and you. It is your concern as well as that of the speaker. Merely to meet at a verbal level, as most of us do, has very little significance because we are concerned with not physical revolution, but psychological revolution - inward, radical, fundamental change. We have lived for millennia after millennia, for thousands of years, with sorrow, pain, anxiety, loneliness, despair, fear and the pursuit of wandering desire, and man has always asked if there is a stop to time.
     What is time? Time fundamentally means division, evolution, achievement, moving from here to there, the constant division as of yesterday, today and tomorrow - sun rising, sun setting, the full moon of a lovely evening and the time to meet your friend. Time is hope. Time is a very complex affair, and that requires patience. Patience is timeless; it is only impatience that has time. To enquire into the nature of time, one must have a great deal of patience, not impatience, not say `get on, I understand what you are talking about.' We have divided our life in a time movement. Movement is time. To go from here to there requires time. To learn a language requires time. To accumulate knowledge, to experience, looking forward to something as fear or as pleasure, the memories of yesterday, a thousand yesterdays, meeting the present, modifying and moving towards the future, all this is time. For a clerk to become the manager, to acquire any skill, requires time. The desire to experience something other than the usual experience and pursuit of that, is also time. Is there psychological time at all? Being violent, to become non-violent - that requires time. The pursuit of an ideal requires time. One has the fallacy that one will evolve into something totally different from `what is'. All this implies time. So we must together understand, not verbally, the feeling of time, the sense of time.
     Time is memory - the past as the observer, observer observing what is happening, translating what is happening to his own conditioning, to his own experience, and so on. Time essentially means division. So outwardly to change, we imagine time is necessary; that eventually man who is divided, who has divided himself into nationalities, will become international and gradually drop all nationalistic tendencies and have a global relationship. We think all that requires time. Time is fundamentally a process of division. Outwardly, physically, time is necessary - like the seed growing into a great tree, that requires time, years. There is a tree in California which is over 5,000 years old. To come to that age, there have been many many rains and storms and fires and lightning - which is all growth in time. We see that outwardly, physically, we need time; to acquire knowledge, the accumulating process of learning mathematics, physics or how to fly one of these jets, requires time. One cannot possibly escape from that time or try to find a stop to that kind of time. That will be utterly meaningless and foolish.
     Now, we are together going to enquire if there is psychological time at all. We think time is necessary to change from one psychological or one sensory response to another. We think time is necessary to be free of violence, to be free of envy. I am envious but I need time to be free of that particular pain or pleasure. We are questioning whether there is time at all psychologically. Do you understand my question? To build a house you need time. To be educated - if you must be educated - needs time. But we are enquiring into something much more important, much more essential, because we are conditioned to the idea or the concept or to the illusion that time is necessary to change `what is' to `what should be'. We, the speaker and you, are questioning that - whether time is at all necessary for a radical change. Have I stated the question clearly so that we all meet it? We said time is division, division as I am, I should be. `I should be' requires time. Right? We are questioning that. We said there is no such thing as becoming something or experiencing something. Does enlightenment, of which many people talk, demand time? We are questioning the most fundamental thing. All our philosophy, our life, all the sacred books, have said that time is necessary; you must go through various disciplines, various practices, in order to come near whatever you call god, an experience which is beyond all measure, a state of mind that has not been touched by time.
     We must go into the question very closely, whether there is psychological time at all. The moment you admit that there is psychological time, time being division, there must be conflict. I am violent, and to become non-violent I need time. There is a division immediately taking place. We are violent and we create the opposite. Where there is the opposite, there must be division and therefore, there must be conflict, and time is the cause of conflict. Look at it very simply. I am greedy, and to be non-greedy takes time. Where time comes into being, there must be conflict, and the becoming something is endless. We are asking, is there an end to violence in which there is no time at all? It is a very, very serious problem. We have accepted time, division, as a means of ending conflict. We are saying quite the contrary. Where there is division as `me' becoming something - the becoming something may be noble or whatever it is - that very division is the process of time; and that division, does it exist at all? That is, I am violent. That is the only fact I have. The other, non-violence, has no reality. It is just a concept, a structure of thought which cannot understand or end violence. It is the escaping process - the ideal. I am this, I will be that; that is measurement. All that implies psychological time. That is the illusion in which we live. We are questioning the reality of that. There is only `what is; there is only greed; there is only violence; there is only war.
     Now we will go into it very carefully. Human beings are violent. Is it not important to find out whether it can end immediately? Is it not important to end it, not say, `I must become non-violent'? When you become non-violent, that involves a period of time. During that period you are sowing the seeds of violence. Is it possible to end violence or greed, anger or whatever you will immediately? Can you end the whole entirely of violence? What is violence? It is not merely anger - to injure another, to hate, to criticize, to wound another both physically and psychologically, to imitate, to conform - not merely physical aggression but the whole movement of violence. Can that movement totally end? To find that out, one must understand time as division. I have divided, thought has divided `what is' into `what should be'. We are now asking whether it is possible to end violence, greed, what you will, immediately, so that it never comes up again.
     How do you observe violence? Violence is a sensory response. You have hurt me, I am wounded. My image about myself has been hurt. You might not physically hurt me, but you have wounded me inwardly because I have an image about myself as a great man or as a professor. That image has been hurt. To get over that hurt, I say, `Give me time.' All that is effort which is brought about by the division of time. So, is it possible to end violence so completely that it never comes back? That is why we are asking how do you look at, how do you perceive, violence. How do you look at a tree, the moon, the stars, the heavens and the beauty of night - how do you look at it? How do you look at your wife or your husband or your friend? Do you look at your wife or your husband or the tree or the moon or the rivers with the memories that you have had, with accumulated hurts, accumulated pleasures, companionship, stored in the brain as memory? Do you look at your wife and your husband with those memories? Memory is time. Where there is time, there must be division. Hence you have quarrels and all the rest of it in your relationship with another.
     It is of the highest importance to find out how to observe, to observe a tree, which is one of the most beautiful things on earth. How do you look at it? When you use the word `tree' or the species of tree, you are not looking. The word, the remembrance, prevents you from looking. You want to look at your wife. Probably you have never looked at her. You have looked at her as your wife, your possession, your pleasure, sexually and in other ways. You have looked at her with all the memories of the last ten days or ten years or fifty years. Those memories come between her and you, and she has also her memories. So, it is very important to find out whether. one can look at a wife or a husband or a tree or moon or the flowing waters of a great river without the word, without the name, which is the past. Can you look at violence or greed or whatever you will without the word? The moment you use the word `violence', you have already put it in time. The moment you use the word which we have used a thousand times before, as violence, that very word is the factor of time. Do you see this? Therefore you have already brought about a division.
     Now, can you observe your wife, your friend or the speaker without his reputation, look at him without any image? Can you look at your wife, at a tree, at a flower, without the movement of thought? The movement of thought is time. Thought divides as time divides. When you look, you are looking as the observer, who is the past, who is the word, who is the memory. The past divides, the past is time. It is in the mirror of relationship that you look at yourself as you would look in the mirror to look at your face. There you can perceive every movement of thought, every movement of reaction. So, the perceiver is the perceived, the analyser is the analysed. I want to experience something extraordinary. I am bored with all the experience I have had - sex and pleasure. I want to experience something ultra, something beyond all thought, and the experiencer is the experienced. A mind that does not demand experience is totally different. Therefore, we have to learn how to listen, how to observe, not accumulate how to listen, but just listen, just observe, without all the memory. Then you will see that which you observe, which is violence, and that there is no division between the observer and the observed. The observer is the violence. I wonder if you see that! When you are so alert, watching, observing, it is like putting great light on the thing which you observe. Then it disappears totally, never to return.
     Now, we ought to talk over together what is desire because, time, desire and thought are the major factors of fear. What is desire? What is the wandering nature of desire, desire which is never content, the desire that all religions have said, suppress? Why have religious leaders all over the world, and all the books, said we must suppress our desire; desire is all right for god, but to desire a woman, desire a house, desire the lovely things of the earth, the beauty of a painting, the beauty of a statue, a poem of Keats, that you must not desire? We have learnt through the ages the art of suppressing desire or yielding to desire. So, what is desire? - not the object of desire or the object creating the desire. Does the object create the desire or desire exists and the object varies? You must be clear on this point. You see a nice car, a nice shirt, a lovely house, a beautiful painting. That painting, house, the car, the woman, the man - does the object create the desire or desire exists and the objects don't matter? If the object creates desire, then it is a totally different investigation, but if desire exists and the nature of desire is not wandering from one thing to another, then it is difficult. We have to examine together what is the origin, the beginning, of desire; not how to control desire, not to suppress it, transcend it, but the beginning of it. If one can understand the origin, the source, of desire, then we can deal with it. If we don't ask the origin, the beginning, then we are merely trimming the branches of desire.
     So, what is desire? We live by sensation. The reaction of our sensory responses is the activity of sensation. I see you well dressed, clean, healthy, beautiful, or whatever you are. I see it. The seeing is the beginning of sensory responses. The seeing, observing, contact and sensation are the responses of the senses. Right? Then what happens? I see a beautiful house, a lovely chalet in the mountains, beautifully built, strong. I see it, contact, touch it actually, and the sensation from it. Then what happens? This is really important to understand. I see a beautiful woman or a beautiful man. The very seeing of that beauty is a sensation, is it not? Then, what is the next step that takes place? You see a beautiful something, a statue which has been created by love and skill and matter. As you see it, sensation arises. You touch it, then what happens? Please find out for yourself. Then thought comes in and says, `How beautiful; I wish I had that statue in my room, I wish I was in that car, I wish I had that house.' At that moment when thought takes charge of sensation, at that precise moment, desire is born. Do you understand this, sir? Sensation is normal, healthy, vital; otherwise you are dead. To suppress sensation means you are dead, and probably that is what has happened here in this country. You read the Gita and Upanishads and all the sacred books and you follow guru after guru, discipline your desire, control it, suppress it, escape, and so on. Whereas, we are saving something entirely different. Can you follow the sensation, the immediate association of thought with the object, then thought saying, `How nice it would be if I sat in that beautiful car which has tremendous power behind it'? - then begins desire. Now, is it possible for thought not to intervene, not immediately, thought saying `I will see myself in the car'? Is there an interval between sensation and thought, so that thought does not immediately take charge, so that there is a gap? If there is a gap, what happens? That requires extraordinary skill and attention, to see where sensations are important, because, if your senses are not alive, you cannot see the beauty of the earth, the movement of the sea. So sensations, the sensory responses, are essential for life, but when thought controls, shapes, gives identity to sensation, then at that precise moment desire is born.
     Can we find out, without control, without suppression, just see how thought is acting upon sensation, even verbally, even intellectually, and go into it very deeply, to have such alertness, such care, such affection, such love to see its nature, how desire is born? You have to see what thought is, how thought makes all life a problem. Thought is a material movement. Thought is limited because all knowledge, all experience, is limited. Thought springs from knowledge, experience, memory. And this whole process is limited. There is no complete knowledge about anything, can never be. Science, technology, is always adding more and more. So, time, desire, thought, are the factors of fear. I am afraid of what might happen to me because I have had an accident a couple of days ago or a year ago, and I am afraid it might happen again. I am watchful. There is fear. I am afraid of the dark, I am afraid of the wife, the husband, I am afraid of my boss. Aren't you all afraid? Don't be ashamed. It is the common lot of man. You may not want to acknowledge it, you may not want to face it, but you are frightened, and fear does terrible things to human beings. Mentally, psychologically, it narrows down, it curtails. It makes human beings so bound to authority, to some ideas. They have become so dependent, so attached, so inhuman. We are not talking about the many expressions of desire, of fear, but fear itself. We are not talking about the various aspects of fear, but the root of it.
     What is the root of fear? Is it not time and thought? That is, I am a clerk, I may never become a manager. I am a disciple, I can never become the guru if I want to be. I am ignorant in the deep sense of the word, deeply ignorant, which is, not knowing. That is ignorance - a movement that has no beginning and perhaps no end, and to understand that deep ignorance I imagine I need time, experience, accumulation, belief in reincarnation, and all the rest of it. So there is fear. We are asking each other what is the root of it all. Why has man, throughout the ages, from timeless beginning, carried this burden of fear? He has not been able to resolve it. He may go to all the temples, to all the churches, to all the gurus, various systems of meditation, but fear is always there. You may be blind to it, you may want to evade it, but it is always there in one form or another.
     We are asking, what is the root of it? The root of it is time and thought. I had pain a couple of weeks ago and I fear it might return again, which is time. There is the remembrance of that pain and the fear that it may happen again. My wife has hurt me, as I have hurt her, not physically, but inwardly, and I hope she won't hurt me more by word or a gesture or by a tear. I am afraid she might hurt me, so there is fear. Fear is time and thought. If one understands the nature of time and thought and the movement and the wandering of desire, understand in the sense see the truth of it instantly, not the verbal conclusion of it but the fact of it, the reality of it, the depth of it, the intensity of it, if you do see it so clearly, then you will never ask how is fear to end. Nor can you ask, `How can I control thought', or `How am I to stop thought', which are the causes of fear. You will never ask that question because you cannot ask that question about it. You actually see the truth. It is there. It is there for you to see, not to accept, to argue, analyse, discuss, take sides; you can't. This is like seeing the most beautiful thing on earth, which is there - an excellent sea, an excellent mind which is there, a heart that is always aflame, which is there. If you see it, then fear ends. And where there is the ending of fear, there is no god. It is out of our fear, out of our desire, that we invent the gods. When a man is without fear, then he is a totally different human being and he needs no god. And sirs and ladies, give your heart to consider all this - not your mind, not your intellect. Intellect has its place, but when you are examining something very, very seriously, the head must enter into its consideration. When the heart enters, that is when there is love to observe, love of watching, seeing; then, when you see the truth of desire, time and thought, there is no fear whatsoever. Then only there can be love. Fear and love cannot go together. Fear and pleasure go together, but not love and fear.