MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN MADRAS 4TH PUBLIC TALK 2ND JANUARY, 1983 'MEDITATION IS THE EXPRESSION OF DAILY ACTIVITY'
Yesterday evening we talked about fear, the nature of fear and what brings about fear. We said time, desire, thought, are the causes of fear and man has lived with fear. We live with fear now - fear of the past, fear of the future of man, what is going to happen to man. Surely, the future of man is what he is now. If he does not radically change, psychologically, inwardly, the future is what he is now. That is guaranteed because there will be more wars, more instruments of wars, more destruction, more violence, more fragmentation of human beings into nationalities, and so on. The future is what we are now. It is so urgently necessary to bring about the psychological revolution. What does it mean to bring about a change - not move from one form, one system, one idea to another, but is it possible for human beings who have lived on this lovely earth for so many millennia to change?
This evening we ought to talk over together whether sorrow can ever end - the sorrow of man; what is love, what is compassion, what is intelligence, the significance of death, and the whole question of meditation. We have lived with sorrow generation upon generation - the grief, the sorrow of loneliness, the sorrow of great anxiety, the sorrow of having no proper relationship with another, the sorrow of a mother, of a father losing a son, of a wife whose husband has been killed in war. Also there is the sorrow of ignorance. Sorrow has many forms. It is not just one incident called death, it is not just one happening in one's life, but a series of incidents, of accidents and experiences which contain pleasure and pain, the sorrow of this movement of reward and punishment, the sorrow of old age, the sorrow of illness, blindness, of deformed children. Man has carried the great weight of sorrow and tries to escape from it. He invents all kinds of theories, all kinds of possibilities, romantic concepts, but sorrow remains with man. I wonder if one has looked at what wars have done to man - how many women, fathers, brothers, sisters, have shed tears because one holds on to nationalism, racial prejudices, linguistic differences. All this is causing enormous sorrow in the world. There is not only personal sorrow, the loss of something, the loss of someone whom you loved, but the loss of never having a single, happy, original day, the pain of seeing poverty in this land and doing nothing about it. Man has carried this sorrow from time beyond measure. We still are burdened, fearful, anxious, lonely, aching with deep inward pain, the lack of success, lack of opportunity, lack of the things we all want.
Is it possible to end this enormous burden carried by humanity and by those who are still in sorrow? What is sorrow? What is the cause of sorrow? Where there is a cause, there is an end. If I have cancer, the cause, the pain, then perhaps the cause can be removed. So, where there is a cause for anything, there is an end to that. The causation is a movement; it is not a fixed point. If you can understand and discover the cause of this burden of sorrow, then perhaps we can understand the nature of love; not love of god, not the love of the guru, not the love of some book or a poem but the love of human beings - the love of your wife, the husband, your children. To find that extraordinary perfume that is really the light of the world, one must understand the nature of suffering, the structure of suffering.
I hope together we, you and the speaker, are going into this. Together we are investigating, not the speaker investigates and you listen, agree or disagree, accept or deny, but together we are exploring a very, very profound problem of humanity. One requires an unemotional approach to understand sorrow; not sentimentality, not a conclusion that sorrow will end, or that sorrow will always remain with mankind. We must together consider this question deeply. You can only consider this question when the mind is in the heart. We use our intellect to comprehend, to discern, to argue. We use the intellect to choose, to measure. And intellect is one of the faculties of the brain. If we are going to examine this extraordinary, profound, problem, mere intellect has very little place, and most of us are highly intellectual, highly educated, having this extraordinary quality of analysis. You in India can analyse anything on earth. You have got fairly subtle minds, whereas to comprehend sorrow, mere intellect cannot go very far. We are saying that all of us have the capacity to use our intellect, which is to understand, to discern, to argue, to choose, to weigh one against the other. This is the function of the intellect. And most of us having the capacity - if you are merely approaching this question of sorrow that way - then our intellect, our mind, dominates the process of investigation. Therefore it distorts. Whereas, is it possible to approach it with a holistic movement? We never approach anything as a whole. We never look at life as a whole. We have fragmented life, broken it up as the intellect, the emotions, love, and so on, and so we can never look at a problem wholly. The word `whole' also means healthy - a healthy mind, not a crippled mind, not a stagnant mind, but a mind which is whole, a sense of covering the earth and the skies and the beauty of all that. `Whole' means also `holy'. In investigating, exploring, this question, one needs to have that quality of a mind in the heart which is not romantic, idealistic, imaginative, but a very factual mind, tempered with the quality of love. When we use the word `holy`, we mean by that - mind in the heart, mind in the quality of love, which has nothing whatsoever to do with any ideals, with any obedience. There must be freedom to observe. So, together let us look at this question of what is sorrow and why man has put up with sorrow, why he has accepted it as he has accepted fear, as he has accepted pleasure, desire, all the things that man is surrounded with, both outwardly and inwardly.
So, what is sorrow? What is the nature of it? In that thing called sorrow, there is pain, there is grief, there is a sense of isolation, a sense of loneliness in which there is no relationship. It is not only a physical shock but a great crisis in consciousness, in the psyche. I have lost my son; I am only taking that example. I have lost my son to whom I am attached. I want him to grow up into some businessman, have some kind of good substantial income, a house, and so on, and suddenly he has gone. What is that quality of suddenness, something which has given me great joy, great pain, great anxiety, concern about his future? All that movement - my affection, my concern, my care, my sense of helping him to have good taste, to live aesthetically - suddenly ends. Don't you know all these feelings? In every house there is this shadow of sorrow. There is sudden ending of my attachment, sudden ending of all my hope which I have invested in him, sudden in the sense of a deep shock and life becomes empty; either I become very cynical or find a rational explanation or plunge myself into some form of entertainment - drugs, trips and all the rest of it, or believe in some future life. This is the lot of human beings.
What is this ending? What does it mean to end? Have we ever ended something without a motive, without a reward or punishment? Where there is an ending, there is a totally new beginning. But we never end. We end things if it is profitable or painful. Our life is based on reward and punishment, both outwardly and inwardly, but we never end anything without a cause. So, grief, loneliness, and sense of separation which is essentially time, identification, investment and all the things one has cultivated in another - all that ends and there is a shock and that shock I call sorrow. Now, can one remain with that, not escape, not seek comfort? Can you remain with that tremendous challenge without a single movement of thought, because sorrow is perhaps one of the greatest challenges, greatest demands on the human mind, on the human quality? And if you merely escape from it, run away, rationalize, then sorrow is your shadow, but with the ending of that, there is passion that is the very essence of energy. But very few of us have that passion. which is living, that passion which moves the universe.
So we ought to look into what is love. That word has been so spoilt. We have given to that word such shallow meaning. One may say, I love my wife. One questions that love. That love may be attachment, that love may be seeking comfort, pleasure sexually, the pleasure of companionship, and so on. We are going to consider what is love, to see the depth of it, the beauty and the extraordinary quality of it. Love may be related to death.
Surely, to find something true one must negate that which is not true, negate the false. To discover what is false and what is true and what is true in the false, one requires not only the capacity to think clearly but to demand, ask questions. So what is love? Would you say love is desire? Would you say love is pleasure? Would you say love is attachment? The speaker is asking these questions for you to answer to yourself; answer, not to deceive yourself, which is so easy to do. One may think that one is a marvellous human being, and that one is out of all this. But to find out that which is not love, that is negation, and it is the most positive action. We are asking, is desire love? Desire is a wandering movement, and is love wandering, unstable, weak, or is it something as strong, as vital as death? Is love pleasure, sexual pleasure, the pleasure of owning, dominating, possessing a person? Is that love? Is attachment to the person - my wife, my husband, my family, which means to hold on, cling to - is that love? Or,in attachment there is fear, jealousy, anxiety, hate? Where there is jealousy, there is hate. Is that love? Has hate any relationship with love? Is love the opposite of hate? Is the good opposite of that which is not good? If hate is the opposite of love, then hate has its root in love. All opposites have their root in their own opposites. Please examine your own life honestly and ask these questions. Desire, pleasure, attachment, jealousy, anxiety, fear of losing, is all that love? Can you be free of attachment, not at the last moment when death is there? Can you end attachment to another? See the implications of attachment, the consequences of attachment. Where there is jealousy, there is hate, anger. Is all that love?
And what is compassion? - not the definition that you can look up in a dictionary. What is the relationship between love and compassion, or are they the same movement? When we use the word `relationship', it implies a duality, a separation, but we are asking what place has love in compassion, or is love the highest expression of compassion? How can one be compassionate if you belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures, and so on, attached to a conclusion? When you accept your guru, you have come to a conclusion, or when you strongly believe in god or in a saviour, this or that, can there be compassion? You may do social work, help the poor out of pity, out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and compassion? In understanding the nature of love, having that quality which is mind in the heart, that is intelligence. Intelligence is the understanding or the discovering of what love is. Intelligence has nothing whatsoever to do with thought, with cleverness, with knowledge. You may be very clever in your studies, in your job, in being able to argue very cleverly, reasonably, but that is not intelligence. Intelligence goes with love and compassion, and you cannot come upon that intelligence as an individual. Compassion is not yours or mine like thought is not yours or mine. When there is intelligence, there is no me and you. And intelligence does not abide in your heart or your mind. That intelligence which is supreme is everywhere. It is that intelligence that moves the earth and the heavens and the stars, because that is compassion.
Also we are going to talk over together this question of death - death being the ending, the ending of our memories, of our attachments, the bank account if you have one. You cannot carry it with you but you would like to have it till the last moment. So, what is death and who is it that dies? And what is life? Do you understand? Who is it that dies, and what does it mean to die? We are not talking of the ending of the physical organism, but we are enquiring into life, the ending of life and the great significance of what death means. What is life which we have separated from death? There is a gap 40, 50 or 100 years. We want to prolong our lives, as long as possible. Modem medicine, surgery, health, and all that helps to prolong one's life. I do not know for what, but one wants to prolong it. So what is life, your life or the life of the universe, life of the earth, life of nature, life which is the vast movement without a beginning and without an end? Don't fall back into the trap of your tradition. That is dead, as dead as a door nail. So we must examine when we talk about living, life, what that means - the life of a tree, the life of the fish in the water, the life of the beauty of a tiger, the life of the universe, this life that seems so extraordinarily vast, immense, measureless. Are we talking about that or your life? If you are talking about your life, what is that life? Going to the office from morning till night for 50, 60 years, having children, belonging to some sect, following some guru? Your life is conflict as pleasure, conflict as fear and the pursuit of pleasure and desire. This is your life. Is that what we are talking about, the ending of that life? What is important - before or after death? Life, the beauty of it, the energy, the pleasure of it, the immensity of it you have reduced to such shallow little `me'. Are you concerned about that, the `me' that is going to die? Is it your name, your form, how you look, your bank account, your ideals, your beliefs, your experiences? So what are you? Please look, question it, doubt it, ask it. Is that what you are frightened of - dying? Knowing that your body, that organism, is going to die? You may prolong it for a long time, but it is going to come to an end. Or you can say, `I have had a jolly good life, I don't mind dying.' We are asking, what is it that dies and what is it that clings to life? By life I mean going to office, sex, pain, pleasure, fighting each other, quarrelling, destroying each other. This is your life, whether you are young or old. Is that what you are afraid of ending? Or are you considering life as a whole, the life of the universe, which is so immense, so vast, so incalculable? Please enquire what you are, to which thought clings, to the image you have built about yourself. It is not the immortality of one's soul, of yourself. Yourself is built through time, your image as `me' from the moment you are born till now. And you accept that `me' as a reality; is it real at all or is it a series of words, series of memories, accidental experiences, which are all put together by thought, and is that `me' holding on to all this travail of life? If you are not holding it then life is something totally different. It is a vast incalculable movement. But that can only be seen when the self is not.
Now we ought to ask a question: what is meditation? We are together going to examine what is meditation, not how to meditate, but what is the nature, the quality, the structure, the beauty of meditation. The word `meditation means to ponder over, to think over, to consider, to probe, to investigate, to look, according to the dictionary. And the word `meditation also means measurement, to measure. I believe in Sanskrit ma is to measure. Measurement means comparison. Have you ever considered how the ancient Greece in 450 B.C. exploded all over Europe? Greece was responsible for measurement; the Greeks invented measurement. Without measurement there can be no technology. And the Western world is capable of great technology, which has moved to Japan. The ancient Indians said that measurement is illusion; India exploded all over Asia. Don't be proud of it, it is all gone. You have lost the one thing that was so precious. You have lost the greatest jewel that you had ever had. So meditation means to think, to ponder, and also it means to measure. That is, I am this, I must be that; I am comparing myself with yourself who are clever, beautiful, lovely, and I am not; that is measurement. Following an example is measurement. Wherever there is comparison psychologically, meditation cannot be. Where there is measurement, comparison, there cannot be meditation. You can compare between two cars, between two materials, better cloth, better paper, better house, better food, but where the mind thinks in terms psychologically of the better, meditation is not possible. You can sit cross-legged, do all kinds of yoga, all kinds of control, but where there is control, there is measurement. Where there is control, there must be conflict and there must be measurement, and that is not meditation.
Meditation is to live a diligent life. Meditation is not separate from daily living; it is not going off into a little corner, meditating for twenty minutes every day or every afternoon, every evening; that is just having a siesta. There is no system. System implies practice. Practice means measurement - from what you are to what you want to be, and you may be practising the wrong note. And probably you are. You call that meditation. That meditation is totally separate from your daily living. Find out whether it is possible to live a daily life of meditation which means no measurement at any time. In meditation, there is no control because the controller is the controlled. In meditation there is no will because will is desire. The essence of desire is will - `I will meditate, I will practise this day after day.' In meditation there is no effort at all because there is no controller. Meditation implies awareness, awareness of the earth, the beauty of the earth, the dead leaf, the dying dog, to be aware of your environment; to be aware of your neighbour; to be aware of the colours you carry, why you wear that colour and those beads, to be aware of that. To be aware of the beauty of the wind among the leaves, to be aware of your thoughts, your feelings, that is, to be aware without choice - just to be aware. That heightens your sensitivity - to observe diligently everything. When you say I will do something, do it, never forgetting what you have said. Do not say something you don`t mean. That is part of meditation. That is, to be aware of your feelings, your condition. your opinions, your judgments, and your beliefs so that in that awareness there is no choice - just to be aware of the beauty of the earth, the skies and the lovely waters. When you are so aware, then there is attention; to attend not only to see the speaker but also to what your wife is telling you or your husband is telling you or your children are telling you, what the politicians are telling you - their trickery, their search for power, position. When you so profoundly attend, there is no centre as the `me' to attend. That is also meditation.
Then, if you have gone that far, if the mind has moved that far, then you ask what is religion. Religion is none of these things that you have - the temples and the content of the temples, the puja, the Tirupatis, the churches and all that is not religion. The rituals, the beliefs, they are put together by thought which is a material process and you worship that which thought has created, which is what you have created. Have you ever realized that all the rituals, these gods, you have created them out of your fear, out of your wanting security? I know you don't agree, but listen to it. You will go on doing it because your mind is conditioned, afraid, wants some kind of security, but a religious man does not belong to any group, to any religion, has no belief because his mind is free. Intelligence is the highest, supreme form of ultimate security, not the intelligence of the cunning thought. There is the intelligence of compassion. In that intelligence there is no doubt, no uncertainty, no fear. That intelligence is something immense and universal. And where there is attention, there is silence. If you attend now to what the speaker is saying, attend with your ears, with your eyes, with your nerves, with your whole body, if you so attend, then in that quality of attention there is silence, unfathomable silence. That silence has never been touched by thought, and only then that for which man has searched from time immemorial, something sacred, something nameless, supreme, comes. It is only that mind that is so utterly free from all the travails of life; it is only such a mind that can find the supreme. That means meditation, which is the expression of daily activity.