Date: Feb 15, 2018
Location: Study Centre, Bangalore
Download PDF: Kabir Jaithirtha – Prison of the Self
Kabir: May be I will speak for 5-10 mins and then we could all talk about things together. Neetu asked me to talk about thinking, thought and the prison of the self.
I feel that if one begins to question the nature of the self, a lot of contradictions come up immediately. It is only because we leave all these contradictions unquestioned, that we can carry on with assuming that there is a self.
For me, one of the contradictions is that,
The self is independent of thought and experience, which most of us feel in our everyday language when we say “I am thinking certain thoughts”. We do not say “I am those thoughts” .So, there is a kind of implication that there is a ‘Me’ who is thinking thoughts and has had experiences.
But, if the self is really independent of the thoughts and experiences, then why should those thoughts be so troublesome and disturbing?
After all, I don’t worry about my clothes because I know that if this set of clothes tear ,I can always put on another set of clothes and that is the end of the matter. I don’t go on saying that something very precious has gone and so on.
But, in our relationships to thoughts that we have, we are obviously disturbed by certain thoughts. We are disturbed by the idea of having certain experiences but also look forward to have new ones.
So, it is as if the ‘self’ has a very unstable ambiguous relationship with thoughts and experiences. On one hand, there is an assumption that the self is completely independent of those thoughts and experiences and somehow it has its own permanence and identity and on the other hand, constantly there is a struggle to retain certain thoughts and memories, to reject the other thoughts and so on.
Personally for me, it seems that this ambiguity immediately questions ‘this feeling of self’.
The other thing that comes up is that when you think about yourself, you can never think of yourself independent of your hopes, your desires, your memories, your experiences, your ideas, and your belief systems and so on. All of them in one form or the other are knowledge, memory or thought.
Therefore, on giving a little energy to it, it becomes quite clear that the ‘sense of self’ is really a collection of thoughts and memories. These thoughts and memories may not have a particular order in them, i.e., it’s not that every bit of thought or memory or experience fits neatly into a coherent pattern with your other thoughts and memories. Sometimes, there is no relationship between this thought or memory and that thought or memory. And then amongst all these thoughts and memories, there is a thought which says ‘This is Me and These are My Thoughts’.
So, the ownership comes after the collection is made. In the sense, it is not as if there is an ownership first and then this ownership says I’ll collect this thought, that thought and the other thought. There is first a jumble of thoughts and memories and then there is a feeling of ownership about that. So, the ownership is actually the child of these thoughts and memories rather than occurring prior to them.
It is quite obvious that this ‘feeling of self’ is an extraordinary prison because it brings about very profoundly, a feeling of separation from the thoughts and memories although, in reality, it is nothing but a collection of thoughts and memories.
Even in my most intimate relationships with the people, though it is ‘Me’ that is relating to the person, the separation is not felt very acutely. This is because, at that point, ’Me’ relating to that person has a vested interest of ,may be a dependence or may be an attachment or may be a wanting to hold on to something associated with it. Therefore, once again we can see that there is no acute examination of this contradictory state of wanting to be related and yet wanting to be separate questioning this ‘feeling of self’.
The holding on to ‘Me’ is an act of separation and while holding on to this act of separation, there is a want to relate as well which cannot happen. It cannot happen at the individual level or the group level or any level whatsoever.
Unfortunately, we human beings have never attacked this question with the seriousness and the energy it requires. After all, between the discovery of ‘the relationship between electricity and magnetism’ and the ‘creation of the motors, engines etc.’ ,it hardly took 300 years!!!
There was a movement and there was a momentum. Only because there was a perception of the right relationship between the two, there was a possibility of a movement.
But in our relationships with each other, there is never a real movement in that sense. We do keep going back and forth, drifting back and forth, but, the real movement is absent because I don’t think there is the perception of what the ’sense of self’ and the ‘sense of identity’ does.
Personally, I feel that even if a few people give their energies completely and fully to this in their lives, it will definitely have an effect on human consciousness.
Just like a few people gave their energies to exploring the relationship between electricity and magnetism, in the sense the whole world did not sit and explore it, but because the right questions were asked and the right examination was made, it brought forth a tremendous movement which affected all of mankind.
Similarly, it seems to me that if really people give their energies to this totally, then I think it is going to affect the consciousness of mankind.
But I find that we don’t really give it all our energy. We get distracted very quickly. We get caught up in one thing or the other.
Krishnaji at one point said, the religious mind has no shelter, has no shackles, has no schedule and is not scattered.
I think in each of us, unfortunately, in various proportions, there are these qualities of shackles, seeking shelter in something, getting caught up in a schedule which is a kind of an outward discipline that really makes the mind dull.
(Heavy monsoon rain started in the background)
There exists a great temptation to create order through outward structure. It is not that there should not be outward structure, but outward structure in itself cannot create order.
For example: you might build a beautiful house, but if you are living there in conflict with the people in the house, there is no order and no beauty. The enormous energy that has gone into building the house does not automatically ensure order. So, we can see that there is a dependence on the outward structure to create order but this alone does not ensure order.
But still there is a tremendous temptation to create order through outward structure because it seems that it is the easier thing to do. Without a deep attentiveness and awareness, the outward structure in itself will only bring about a dependence which makes the mind dull.
This is about the mind being caught in a schedule.
Now let us look into shackles.
I feel, I owe a greater loyalty to my family or a group of people or whatever. It is deeply rooted in us. I am not saying I should not have responsibility to my family and so on, but when that becomes the prominent thing and the responsibility of contributing to consciousness of the whole of mankind by freeing oneself of the ‘self’ becomes a secondary thing, it becomes very difficult to give ones complete energy to freeing oneself of the ‘self’.
So this is the mind being caught in shackles.
Then, of course, there is shelter.
There is a wanting to hold on to a particular belief system or the wanting to hold on to a particular set of rituals. This is the mind trying to seek shelter.
Lastly, there is the mind being scattered.
The immediate always takes over. Be it the immediate pleasure or the immediate urgency of wanting to do something. And so the mind is scattered.
I feel all of us, if we look at our own lives, in one form or the other, these four things have taken over. However much we feel we have given or are giving our energy towards freeing ourselves, we are not committed towards it.
Commitment is not something that you make in the past and somehow it carries you forward. Commitment is something that you do every single day. You are concerned about it, you are constantly watching, you are aware of it and you are deeply alert. I think only that kind of attention and energy can bring about freedom or a possibility of the mind not functioning within the boundaries of thought and habit which then constitute the ’self’.
So the mind functions within the boundaries of thought, patterns, beliefs, habits and that constitutes this ‘self’. This functioning of the mind within a boundary creates separation inevitably. This is because, when you create a boundary, you have already set that which is inside and that which is outside.
I am really not telling you anything. I am sharing with you, my own questions and my own examination of this. May be we should talk it over together because I can see that many of us find it difficult to reconcile ourselves with the teaching that says no method, no time and no authority.
This is because the mind is constantly seeking to create structure, to make an authority out of something and in turn try to come upon the formless through form. Now, to come upon the formless, you cannot come upon it through form. By form, I mean my idea, my opinion, my belief, my loyalty I give to scriptures or the other etc. All this is form.
To come upon the formless, there has to be a totally different approach. There has to be an approach that shares the quality of the formless if I can put it that way. I will explain what I mean.
For example: when an emotion arises within me, I can say I like it, or I can say I don’t like it. This is an approach through form because I am meeting the emotion with another structure saying I like it or I don’t like it or I want it to continue or I don’t want it to continue or this should be nurtured or this should be supressed in the sense I am disciplining the mind. I feel discipline is training the mind to have only certain emotions or have only certain habits or patterns and somehow supress the other things. This is to approach with form.
Whereas ‘Choice-less awareness is formless.’ It is not saying this should be there or this should not be there but just being totally aware of what is there or not there. It seems to me that if you put things this way, it becomes very clear, that you cannot approach the formless through form.
You cannot go beyond time through time.
I am taking it for granted that we all are somewhat familiar with what Krishnaji is saying. Therefore we can really explore it much more.
To sustain the energy of awareness, attention without an iota of seeking away from it, without the satisfaction which says I have achieved this much, without the feeling that I have this much more to go is necessary. Thought finds it impossible to do so. So, it is very important to realise this and not get caught in these traps.
So, I have touched upon this little bit. I will try and bring together what I have said so that we can further explore it or explore other questions.
There is no self which can be identified other than the movement of memory, thought, habit and experiences. All that I am putting in memory and thought and the very identification of self brings about division. It brings about division at various levels. It brings about division as us and them. It brings about a division among us as I and you. It brings about a subtler division as I and my experiences.
Probably, the last division is the most subtle and if that is completely understood, then the other divisions will fall away. But this division, ’I and my experiences’ is constantly sustained as if they are two different things and it is this division in turn which sustains all other divisions.
This division itself is created by thought.
For example: ‘I am feeling angry’ is a thought or ‘I would like this pleasure to continue’ is a thought.
That reaction of thought to a particular sensation, that reaction of thought probably to an existing thought… is the point at which the division occurs and the ‘feeling of I’ comes into being.
This cannot end through any other act of separation or control. The ending of this can happen only in the act of being completely aware of it. Krishnaji would say first there is an insight into the structure of self and that very insight creates the capacity not to be trapped into it again. That capacity ‘not to be trapped’ is a part of the awareness.
I think I have talked a lot. Shall we now..
Participant 2: Can you please repeat the last..
Kabir:The last bit?
Participant 2: The insight part.
Kabir: First there is the insight. Suppose, you tell me that the self is nothing but the movement of thought. I on the other hand, am habituated to think that self is something quite permanent, stable and has continuity not only in this life but also the next life and all that.
Now, when you tell me that the self is nothing but thought, my immediate reaction is to reject it because already my brain is constantly reacting.
So, my brain, even though it has the capacity to be able to completely listen to you without any reaction, it is very rare for the brain to be in that state. Almost all the time the brain is not really looking and listening. It is reacting to what is being looked at and reacting to what is being listened to. Therefore it becomes very difficult to have insight. The minute you say something, I am already caught up in the moment of reaction and if I am caught up in the moment of reaction, then, from that reaction I will only project something (which is another thought again).
For example: You tell me something that self is nothing but movement of thought. I can react and say “Oh! this man is stupid. I don’t have anything to do with him” or I can react and say “he is a great man, I must now try to establish this truth in myself.” Both are reactions and both these reactions only project an idea. One idea is I will have nothing to do with him. The other idea is I will project what it means to be free of self , try to discipline myself to that and I can spend my whole life caught up in that. I will spend my whole life struggling because there has not been an insight into the nature of the self.
So I am saying there is an insight which has, if I can call it, a certain impact which is far more and very different from my merely believing your words. You can readily see that, for example: if I tell you there is a bird out there in the tree and you see the bird, that has a very different impact as compared to you struggling to see the bird in the leaves and imagining that may be this movement is the bird or that movement is the bird and all that.
A thought has no value whatsoever whereas if you see the bird, then it becomes your seeing and it is your seeing that brings energy to be deeply alert to this movement of thought and habit. Therefore the brain begins to free itself of it.
You may ask, is this a slow process?
Personally, I don’t think so.
I think what happens is that the 4 S’s come in to being (schedule, shackles, shelter and scattered).
I am scattered. I am not really watching and being aware in a very serious and interested way .I am doing it here and there, sporadically, getting caught up and so on. It is like a random walk. I want to go there but I find that half the time, I am stopping by. I am pushing myself in this direction or I am pushing myself in that direction and therefore, it feels like a tremendously difficult thing to get. Moreover, I don’t want to free myself of my shelters and shackles, because there is a certain safety there. There is a certain feeling of security there and I really don’t want to free myself of it.
So in one way or the other, I hold onto something. I think that is what prevents the swiftness of this movement to free oneself of ‘self’.
Otherwise I feel this brain has the capacity, when I say this brain, I mean that brain also (laughs). Obviously. The human brain has the capacity to free oneself of the self but not the ‘I’. (The ‘I’ cannot free itself from itself. Just like the earlier example of time mentioned previously, that is, you cannot go beyond time through time).
Participant 4: What is the meaning of shackles?
Participant 5: manacles.
Kabir: shackles can also mean…
Participant 6: बेडी (fetter in Hindi).
Kabir: Oh! The actual meaning of the word.
Participant 7: Chains.
Neetu: I think you went into this various divisions earlier… between you and me, us and them and there were the subtle divisions… Now, the question is that can we ask why the mind created division? Is it the nature of the thought to divide itself?
Kabir: So Neetu’s question is …
Is it the very nature of thought to be divided and therefore it constantly divides or is there some other fact which comes in place. Is that it? Would you say Neetu that thought in its very activity, in its very function is to categorize, classify and separate, is that the question? So in its very function and activity do you see that thought categorizes and separates?
For example: That’s the tree. These are the leaves. This is the ground. That’s the rain falling on the tree. The roots are below the ground. Right? So, the thought in its very activity, its very articulation we can see that there is a certain implicit separation happening.
That’s not the problem at all because, that is the function of thought.
For example: When you do physics and you are talking about the revolution of the earth around the sun you break it up into small bits and pieces and pretend that at this point the sun is pulling the earth towards it but the earth already has a momentum in that direction and therefore it is under the influence of two activities, one being the pulling here and then there is a velocity in that direction and therefore velocity changes and it continues to change.
Now that is an activity of the thought analysing a particular situation but in reality, the earth going around the sun is one whole movement right? It’s a holistic movement. It’s not even about the earth going round the sun. It’s a movement. It’s a holistic relationship between two masses.
So, the very nature of thought in its functioning is to categorize, to particularize and to separate. But when the brain takes this separation and categorization as the ultimate truth, then it has imposed a division on the whole.
Then the brain tries to function according to this imposed division instead of the holistic reality and that creates contradictions all the time. It is so even here. There might be the thought which says, ‘I like to have dosa ‘, and then there might be another thought which says ‘don’t have too much oily food’ right?
Now, is there a way where in there is attention in which these two fragmentary thoughts really don’t have to clash with each other? The order cannot be brought about by a discipline which says I’ll have dosas every Friday or every third week or whatever. The order is brought about in the sensitivity to that particular matter right?
But the minute attention is brought to the matter, thought tries to bring about a certain kind of coherence between these two rather actual fragmentary memories and then tries to bring about order in them thus creating an immense sense of division. This happens because of the thought which says I must control this impulse.
It seems to me that if thought functions at its own level and this act of attention allows the thought to function at its own level without assuming that it is the truth or it is the, then there will be no problem at all. The real problem arises, when this function of thought which is to separate, categorize and divide is taken as the ‘absolute truth’ and then if the act of attention functions from there and tries to bring order.
The minute division is taken as the truth, it obviously creates disorder. There is conflict, there is a sense of threat and alienation and all of that comes into being.
Neetu: All of this division happened because of an effort to understand better. So is the division created when we are trying to understand?
Kabir: Is that true? If I am really trying to understand, that is, if I am really concerned only with the understanding the movement of thought as it is happening without any attempt to control it, is there division?
Find out for yourself now. Find out.
Supposing, a particular thought arises and there is complete sensitivity to that thought arising, that is, there is no attempt to push it away or give it permanence, then in that state there is no division. Right?
If I am listening to you completely, as to what you are talking without in anyway attempting to defend a particular position or trying to see whether your position agrees with the position I have taken up, then in just listening to you completely, there is no division at all. Right?
Do you see that, now?
Neetu: But then, why are we not able to see it always?
Kabir: Because you don’t want to do it. It’s not that you are not able to do it. Right? Every brain is capable of doing it. But you are not interested in doing it because you want to hold on to something that you call order. You want to hold on to a variety of things and then say in this act of holding on, I must be able to establish a relationship with that and you can’t do that. And therefore you say, I am not able to do it. Every one of us is able to do it unless the brain is damaged.
Participant 1: Sir, I think it is not that we don’t want to do it. Thought is always about something right.
Participant: Never itself.
Kabir: Can you carry on and say a little more?
Participant: Like Krishnaji said, word is not a thing right? Similarly thought is not a thing right? Thought is never what we have been thinking about.
Kabir: Thought is never the thing but…
Participant 1: Thought is about something.
Kabir: Alright. Let’s explore it slowly.
Participant 1: Correct.
Kabir: So you are saying, there is no such thing as fear in itself. It is always fear about something which is a thought. Ok.
Participant 1: Correct. So sir, what I want to say here is that, since thought is about something, essentially thought is dualistic. So essentially when the thought arises itself, it is already divided. Now I will explain why is, that division happening.
Kabir: But why does the brain give primacy to thought?
Participant 1: Whether it gives or not…
Kabir: No, no, no…
We both agree that thought is about something but…
Participant 1: Therefore it is dualistic between two separate things .Right? Between the thought and the thing?
Participant 2: If thought is creating a division, it is doing so between the thing and the thinker or what I consider as me.
Participant 1: Now when I say the word apple it is not the real apple right?
Kabir: That is not dualism. To say, supposing there is a complete realization that the word apple is not the actual apple, there is no disorder in that. Right?
Participant 1: Correct. When it happens…
Kabir: Do you agree?
Participant 1: Yes.
Kabir: There is no disorder right?
Participant 1: When the correct perception of apple happens…
Kabir: When there is the perception that the word apple is not the actual apple and there is no necessity for that word apple to be the actual apple, that is, the word apple is merely a functional name given, then there is no disorder. Right?
Participant 1: When it is totally understood, yes.
Kabir:There is no sense of disorder.
Kabir: So the dualism which you talked about does not bring about disorder. Supposing I say this is your body and this is my body, at one level, this is a fact. How much ever this body is fed, that body is not going to get nourished in some mysterious way. Once the fact is understood, it is not a contradiction to say that both these bodies have to be nourished. Right?
But look at the world what we have done. Not only have we said this body and that body, we are also saying even if this body gets nourished at the expense of that body, it does not matter. That is disorder. That is the terrible movement of identification and disorder. Otherwise to say this body and that body does not prevent the capacity to nourish this body and that body. Every mother does it and every grandmother does it.
Sushma: Actually, I have one question from morning only. We read some passage and in that Krishnaji said that the thought creates the thinker, then you say that action creates the actor. So I was thinking about this only. Is there any thinking which is actually your thinking?
Kabir: Actually if you notice it Sushma, all thinking is collective. If I go around the world saying, I am a Hindu, that statement has no significance if there are not 500 other people who are also saying the same thing. So all thoughts are really collective.
Sushma: No, but does that really indicate that it does not belong to this body- mind complex.
Kabir: The thought is not completely separating itself in this body –mind complex. It is acting out through all these body-brains.
Sushma: And what is that within me or within this body-mind complex which perceives the particular thought. What is that instrument which is within me? Is it just the physical brain or is it something more than that which perceives the thought and itself…
There are multiple brains and multiple thoughts.
Suppose if the thought is from a common pool of humanity, then what is that within every body-mind complex which perceives a particular thought or a particular way of thinking?
Kabir: Let’s see if I have understood what you are saying.
We are saying that perception is not the same as thinking about a particular thought.
Sushma: No, then what is thinking the thought? The thought is just perceived and that becomes…
Kabir: No, just one second.
Sushma: Does it become the mind and how does it get consolidated in me, like what is the pereceived.
Kabir: I wouldn’t use the word perceived there.
Sushma: What is the perception of how thought creates the ego? What is this whole movement of thought creating the ego?
Kabir: What actually is the mechanism which happens where a particular thought seems to create a thinker and it seems so quick that it’s always assumed that the thinker has come before the thought. So, isn’t that the question? That’s a quite interesting question.
Let’s take a very simple example: Supposing you say something about me and there is absolutely no reaction, that is no reaction saying ‘I like what the person is saying’, ’let him continue with it’, ’Murali, please continue to praise me’ etc.
If there is no reaction whatsoever, then, there is no thinking at all. But the minute there is reaction…
The reaction could be any different kind of reaction like ‘why is he saying this’, ’I want him to say’, ’let me be alert because I am get trapped by what he is saying’ etc.
All those are again thoughts and in the reaction of those thoughts, thinking is coming.
I’ll say a bit more and stop.
Participant: From where does the reaction emerge?
Kabir: From the brain, from the memory.
Participant: So you are saying thought comes from outside and you react?
Kabir: No, I am not saying that. Let’s explore it. I may be wrong. But I am also exploring it.
Participant: Today we may waste time also, it’s ok.
Kabir: See, there is a brain and then there are different brains. At one level they are different brains and at another level they have all gone through the same process of evolution. It’s not as if each of these brains have been separately created by somebody. It’s a whole movement of evolution which has created the brains, right? And this brain is a repository just like that brain is. It is a repository of various experiences and of all the various reactions that have happened in the process of evolution. So, the fear of snake or fear of some other thing else, all those reactions, by and large, with slight variations in the reactions here and there, but by and large are part of the movement of evolution that has created this brain which holds within it already at a fairly deep level reactions of various times.
Now does the brain come into the world completely pristine and without any mark of reaction?
Participant: I don’t know.
Kabir: But if the brain itself is a result of evolution and evolution stands for all the various experiences and reactions like some experiences do not allow the brain to evolve in a particular direction and other experiences which destroyed some other brain.
This brain, that word evolution implies that this brain is a result of all those various pressures and influences etc.
Participant: Is it when the brain is created like that we call it a result of evolution or is it that a small baby is born and in the process of bring it up…
Kabir: No, that’s the second layer. Both layers may be there. There may be a layer in the brain of the child which is a result of evolution, genetics etc. And then there is a second layer if you may call it conditioning which arises based on the culture that he is brought up in, the set of belief systems he is brought up in etc. Both are interacting with each other and there is a third movement …
The third movement is happening because the brain is capable of much more memory and much more thoughts. Right? So, in this brain ,the thoughts then begins to create a ‘Me’ who is separate from all my experiences and all this is happening in my brain right?(the division between thought and the thinker begins to get created which is nothing but another thought- memory complex)
Now the interesting question is…
Is the brain completely a prisoner of all this and therefore there is no way out and therefore we have to assume that these cards have been dealt to us and we have to play these cards the best we can or somebody like Krishnamurti says the brain also has if I may call itthe brain is capable of something called attention which frees the brain from being a prisoner of the past.
Participant: When you start observing, that is the movement of change.
Kabir: That’s right. Not only is this brain the result of all this .But there is more to the story. The brain also has this extraordinary quality called attention which allows tremendous freedom from the past, i.e., total freedom from the past, right?
Excepting at a minor level may be that I am diabetic by nature, I am diabetic that’s all then that’s not a huge problem.
Sushama: But still I am holding on to that question. Is the thought outside of this brain? So is it why I call it body-mind complex or body brain complex? If it is outside, what is memory and what are the thoughts that I am accumulating?
Kabir: Sushma, it may be both inside and outside. It might be a collective movement as well as a…
Participant: When I say I am thinking, ‘I’ am thinking like this. So whatever I have accumulated till now based on that and whatever is happening….
Kabir: Sushma, let’s take an example:
In America, people are fighting for white identity. Each one of them will say that I am separately convinced that white identity is a threat. In India, you will have lot of Hindus who will say, I am separately convinced that Hindu identity is under threat. But it is also a collective phenomenon where we are feeding each other with conclusive ideas, information, opinions and all kinds of things. So my question really is…
Is it such a sharp division, as a separate body-mind complex which is totally independent of all those outside completely?
In the sense like, if a drop falls into a bucket and you can’t look around for the drop of water and say this drop of water fell or that drop of water fell or is it both? There is a sense of being the separate drop of water but at the same time it’s a collective one.
Participant: I think we are mainly concerned with the thought arising in this brain and the division of thought and thinker happening in this brain although it’s interacting with the world and is under its influence.
Participant: But mainly the thought is inside the brain.
Kabir: No and yes. But I think there is something very, very important to understand here. I think it’s very good that this question arises. See when fear arises in me, I am concerned with the fear arising in me. It is my fear. Or I can see fear is common to all of us. Fear is arising in this brain. This brain has to be aware of the fear and alert to it, right? This brain has to awaken the energy of being aware, right?
But the movement of fear itself is a collective movement as well.
Participant: Sure. Yes, because even if I look at fear, even this brain is experiencing…if the experience is made personal, as “My Fear”, then that prevents me from looking at it.
Kabir: That’s the very important point.
Participant: If I can look at it as fear arising in the brain or human brain, then, I can look at it impersonally. I can look at it objectively.
Kabir: Otherwise I can get caught in another trap of saying it’s “my Fear” and I have to deal with this
And every time I say my fear I am digging the hole of ‘me’ deeper.
Does this make sense? The minute I say I have to deal with my fear, my sorrow, my unhappiness…that very way of looking at it is digging the hole of ‘me’ deeper.
The sense of separation is strengthening and there is no right response to it. All that I can do then is, try and control it or try to supress it or try to avoid it through drug or some belief system or the other.
Participant: But you can look at it this way also. Say for instance, when it is “my fear”, that is, when the fear arises in my heart and I am capable of looking at it, can I really look at that and watch that particular fear? Can watching it makes me aware of the general fear existing everywhere?
But instead I say this is not my fear even though at that moment it is my fear.
Kabir: No, when I experience it, it certainly feels like “my fear”. But then, somebody comes and tells me actually you know it’s just fear. Observe it. Watch it. It’s a common movement. It has common origin. It has common structure, right? Therefore, there can be an actual observation of it in the ending of it.
Participant: Is it not that somewhere the fear arises in my heart and because I have the capacity to observe, I will look at it objectively and not because somebody comes and tells me that it’s a common phenomenon.
Kabir: Then, you are a great man (laughs). It’s amazing.
Participant: Thank you (laughs).
Kabir: But look at my bias. I am saying you are a great man…
Participant: And she said thank you (laughs).
Participant: No, I am just joking… but see this fear arises in me and that ‘I’ is only looking at it to start with, but that observation has the capacity to remove that ‘I’ also, that ‘sense of I ‘also and may be it considers it as a common fear and observes it or may be addresses that fear completely…depends I don’t know how it gets addressed.
Kabir: See let’s not worry about how it gets addressed.
Participant: We should not think that it’s a common fear also. See that thinking is one creating the ‘I’ also.
Kabir: I agree with you if you are saying that I am thinking that it’s a common fear and trying to comfort myself with that thought because that doesn’t really bring about the capacity for observation. It just brings about a feeling about that everybody is like that so I am also like that. It may also lead to further thinking that since everybody is like that, nothing can be done about it.
But in the act of being aware, when you said face it, the very interesting thing is facing is not an attempt to conquer it. Normally when you say face it, it’s almost like defy it. But it’s not like that. It’s just an extraordinary watching in which there is no translation happening. Right? But normally my watching is full of translations.
Participant: Another way to approach fear is to approach it with curiosity and in that there is no personal involvement.
Kabir: We are using different words but the ability to watch something without any translations… that act of watching immediately ends this division as me and my fear.
And if we observe this division as ‘me and my fear’ that actually sustains this fear. So the interesting thing is…
Participant: So the starting point can be me and my fear and therefore…
Participant 2: There is one thing I want to add actually. I want to join in the conversation when you pointed out without generalizing fear as a common fear… immediately you said let’s not do that.
Kabir: Yes, because it can be another movement of thought.
Participant: But even though it looks like that, the moment I identify it as my fear, already the observation is not an observation which can end it.
Kabir: The very naming it as fear is already a translation. So this extraordinary watching that we are talking about has nothing to do with any naming even. Because the naming already is a translation. The naming already is the past coming and interfering with what is happening.
Participant: But the problem is that, the labelling that it is “my fear” is happening automatically.
Kabir: When you say automatically, it might be a habit.
Participant: But that is the truth for me.
Kabir: No, it’s a fact for you.
Participant: Yes, it’s a fact for me.
Kabir: Don’t make it into the truth. Then you are caught. Then you are forever doomed.
Participant: Yes, you are right Sir. You can say its reality for me.
Kabir: That is a fact for you.
Participant: It is a fact for me.
Kabir: Now, either you can take this fact to be the truth and say nothing can be done about it or there is an observation of this fact to see its nature, to see its roots, to see whether it is the truth in the sense that it has an existence independent of everything else or is it something which is dependent on something else which is in turn dependent on something else. So that can be observed if there is an interest in observing it.
Participant: But typically that becomes analysis.
Kabir: No, Observation is not analysis.
Participant: But typically that becomes analysis.
Kabir: No… observation is not analysis.
Participant: It is not but…
Kabir: Why do I analyse? I analyse because deep down I feel that by analysing or by giving an explanation I am able to deal with it. Right?
So I analyse the situation which means I will look at the various factors, give an explanation and feel that it has somehow made me more capable of dealing with it. But this act of observation which every human brain is capable of is not analysis. It is just an act of seeing something without any translations whatsoever. Both analysis and translations involve words, naming, giving explanations, having theories about how it happens. Right? But this act of observation is a simple act of observation, simple yet extraordinarily vibrant, alive.
Participant: But sir, it has to come about it as well.
Kabir: If you are interested it will come. If you are really interested it will come. Right?
Participant: So that is why I feel that… I said starting point can be… because I have listened to Krishnamurty…I am just taking his name but….I see that this is extremely meaningful and that can be the starting point of observation. As it is we keep observing something or the other but the basis is always me and my analysis.
Kabir: Shall I put it in another way? It is almost like I listen to some man and deep down I feel that there is a ring of truth to it. At the surface level, I feel it’s all going wrong that doesn’t coincide with my experience or the way my life goes on or my analysis and so on. But deep down I feel oh my god! There is a ring of truth. Hold on to that and work from that point. The mistake we make is to get caught up in this feeling again. But instead hold on to that and work with it. Then we are working at it.
For example, I listen to some man and deep down, I feel there is a ring of truth to it which is like “I don’t know anything. I am going to learn.” Then I am learning, I am watching and observing and that brings about its own movement, its own, if I can call it confidence.
Participant: How is it different from following certain practices or something?
Kabir: I am just watching. I am not following any practice. The difference between a practice and watching is…
I follow a practice in order to achieve a result. Right? But here this is just pure watching. May I push it a little bit further? The wanting to achieve a result is also a part of thought. The idea that, in achieving the result there will be stability is still thought. Thought has no stability whatsoever. Don’t look for stability at the level of thought. It’s not there.
Participant:Even an environment like this helps and nurtures all of this but when we go back to our normal life…Some practices like sitting quietly, early in the morning etc. might help.
Kabir: Don’t make it into a practice. Is it possible because you are so deeply interested that it brings its own discipline? You may sit quietly. Right? But you may sit quietly because this very sensitivity is saying come my friend don’t be caught up in watching your smart phone all the time or watching television all the time. Just watch this thought. That ring of truth brings its own sensitivity which is discipline. So it’s not the discipline of practice which says “Every day from 6:45 to 7:45 I will sit quietly and hope to achieve a result.” I am told by somebody or the other that if
I do it for 10,000 hours I will get……
Kabir: Nirvana…. (Laughs)
I am sure I can sell it in America.
Participant: Even in India.
Kabir: Yes, even in India. Why only America? Poor thing…
So, there is this very subtle difference. I am watching myself. I am not saying that I will only eat this kind of food but I am watching. In my watching I am learning right?
What happens if I eat too much? So that movement of watching and learning has no structure to it.
Participant: That’s right. Because in the watching I am not postponing it to that one hour of meditation. I am watching that at this moment when it arises in me. I am looking at it and even in my day to day life.
It’s not something that may be in the evening, I will see it. May be in the evening when I sit quietly I will see. This moment something is arising in me and I am attentive to it.
Kabir: And it may arise in me in my office when my subordinate has not done the work and there is an immediate reaction. So there is just watching of that, watching but not controlling just watching. That brings its own order. So I will not separate my so called this environment and that environment. In being sensitive, I may begin to move away from that environment as much as possible. I may not then go out for a drink with my friends. I may not constantly seek parties, I may not constantly become anxious whether or not I am invited to this party or that party. All that might happen and I might drop away. But all that is coming from the act of watching. The brain stops dividing it as this environment and that environment.
Participant: Meaning when you go back to that environment which is basically disorder, our brain tries to form certain order in it.
Kabir: So don’t go back to it. Become a teacher or start a school. (Laughs)
The world needs schools.
Participant: What is the connection between…?
Participant 2: No, if we honestly feel that, I feel that world is disorder… I really need to question that feeling. I mean every man or human being has the capacity to bring order in his or her way in their life. Not that everyone has to become a teacher or come to a school. Otherwise whatever Krishnamurti is saying will become meaningless according to me.
Kabir: Supposing I am a policeman and I am in a system where we beat up people in order to extract some confession, I might stop doing that. To that extent might, or my very sensitivity, just like after all if I become sensitive to my body I will not eat certain kinds of foods, in the same way the sensitivity to the disorder might free the brain from participating in the disorder.do you agree with that?
Sushma: Oh! Actually my whole life will change if I am touched by this. Not that I have to completely change everything whatever is there but that sensitivity will tell me what changes one can make.
Kabir: In fact another danger is there. One might think if I become a teacher here somehow or the other it will all go away. That’s not going to happen, because I am going to bring my own anxieties, fears, my feeling of comparison all that I will bring it here also.
Participant: And I may even impart it to the children
Participant 2: So you are saying out of observation arises a sensitivity
Kabir: Observation is sensitivity. Observation is the order.
Sushma: And may be that balancing action will tell me how to deal with life.
Kabir: Yes absolutely.
Participant: One question. I just want to understand that ring of truth that you mentioned. Typically for me it turns out to be desire. So…
Kabir: I see that my desire has no place. I see quickly or very swiftly that desire is nothing but another movement of thought trying to seek stability. That’s all. So it lets go on its own right?
There can be a swift movement. It need not be a slow tortured process of being hurt 10,000 times before desire lets go and then we become wise.
So we have this feeling… this is another great illusion that we have that all these hurts will combine together to make you wise. They can’t. You have to see through the structure of hurt. Yes, otherwise each hurt can combine to create further complexity which is what is happening to human beings right?
When they say jihadists and constantly say” why do they become radicals”, they have become radicals because they have been insulted by a policeman. They have become radical because they have not been given university place right? And then all that gets translated into because I am a Muslim, this is happening to me and therefore I’ll go and … you know it’s a very stupid process. But that’s what happens to me when I accumulate hurt. You know I have a friend who has given his life, who has spent his entire life in wanting to educate the poor. But because somewhere it is an ideology, at the end of this long life, there is a feeling of hurt, bitterness, there is a feeling of betrayal and no trust. That’s a very sad thing to do.
Sushma: But why?
Kabir: I think my question is… Did the person start with an ideology or with clarity of perception? If I start with ideology however noble it is… this is what will happen at the end of it right? You must have seen people like that who are ideologically committed to something and in that very ideological commitment there is also anger, bitterness, unhappiness and a feeling of not being appreciated.
There is a very moving passage on commentaries of living where in, these people just after independence struggle come and say “Everything that we fought for has been betrayed and I feel like committing suicide.”
Participant: Still I don’t understand what you are saying… Are you saying instead of collecting these hurts, if we are observant… that hurt doesn’t …?
Kabir: No it’s a little deeper than that. Where there is hurt, there is self. Do you see that? The self by its very nature is a collection of hurts. Do you see that? Whenever you have been hurt, the feeling of ‘Me’ has been the strongest. Right. I am hurt. There is no such thing as hurt. It’s always ‘I am hurt”, ”you hurt me “ so hurt is a wonderful opportunity to discover that self is created by thought.
Participant: An opportunity to realise that the self exists…
Kabir: Only in that hurt not separate from that hurt.
Participant: If someone says something and I get hurt then is that hurt because someone has said something?
Or like she said is it because of the thought outside or how does that hurt me?
Kabir: That’s a very interesting question. You are saying what is the cause of that hurt? Is it the person saying something or is our reaction to what the person has said?
The reaction is the hurt right?
Participant: Of course.
Kabir: Stop there. Is there any other truth other than this which would cause the hurt to come into existence without the reaction? Not controlled reaction. So immediately don’t imagine any other reaction such as ‘why did you say this?’ but inwardly there is a reaction .Without the inward reaction there is no such thing as hurt. So in the very reaction hurt comes into being and the ‘Me’ comes into being. The ‘Me’ is not a permanent entity which then is feeling hurt or feeling angry and then being afraid or feeling upset. Hurt creates a sense of ‘Me’, anger creates a sense of ‘Me’, jealousy creates a sense of ‘Me’, wanting to achieve something creates a sense of ‘Me’. Each of those MEs are nothing but the common word is ‘Me’ but each of those is rooted in these reactions.
Participant: So is jealousy a reaction before the ‘Me’ is created?
Kabir: Let’s explore it.
Kabir: You have a better car than me most probably (laughs)
Participant 2: But that reaction is the jealousy…
Kabir: The reaction is… No but his question is…
Participant: Does the reaction come first or jealousy?
Kabir: No, no. I think that’s a wrong question.
Participant: It’s not first. Actually, if we really understand it thought comes and then the thinker comes. The thought creates the thinker.
Kabir: In the arising of the thought there is the thinker. So it’s not…I mean it is one movement of thought- thinker.
Participant 2: In the arising of jealousy that me is created.
Participant3: So jealousy, by arising out of few thoughts a feeling of jealousy is created then another thought identifies this.
Kabir: It’s not such that there is such a gap between these thoughts such as why does he have a better car or why am I not fortunate enough to have the car? Already ‘Me’ has been created. Right?
Participant: If I don’t see, if I don’t feel jealous of the other person as you say there is no..
Kabir: Yes, you might not be feeling jealous. But you might be feeling hurt. Not because of the car but for some other issue.
Participant: It could be happiness also right? I am happy for him right? Pleasure right?
Kabir: Happiness and pleasure are two different things.
Participant: Yes, I meant pleasure. But even the thought that I am not jealous is also the creation of me.
Kabir: Or I am above jealousy is also the creation of me.
Participant: So is it possible to have an extension from this me. I mean me has to remain in any situation
Participant: What she is saying is ‘Me’ has to remain. See ultimately whether I am jealous is also a thought which I am thinking and I am not jealous is also a thought which I am thinking. So that me is always there.
Kabir: Is there a state of not being jealous which does not say I am not jealous? Is it possible? You don’t have to after all, all the time go around saying I am so and so. If somebody calls your name, you can respond to it. Right? Also, it can remain only at that level or it can accumulate and say I am so and so, I am like this, I am appreciated in this group and therefore it is a pleasure for me to come to this group. That constant movement of reaction, accumulation, expectation etc… That sustains the sense of ‘Me’. There is no need of this for the brain, i.e. there is no functional use of this for the brain. There is no security in this movement whatsoever, there is no stability in this movement whatsoever. This movement is ‘noise’. It does not have anything to do with ‘order’.
Participant: Now it makes sense when Krishnamurti says ‘if suppose if you have certain virtue, will you know that you have this virtue?”
Kabir: That’s right. You may say ‘I am humble’, ‘I am humble.’ But if you are really humble, will you say that you are having this value and did you not contradict your humble nature by saying you are humble?
Participant: Suppose, take that statement – ‘I have jealousy’ or ‘I don’t have jealousy’ – ‘I’ is there, so ‘self’ is very much there. If I am not saying that, then there is no cognition and probably there is no self also.
Kabir: So supposing I say, “Look at him, he is so jealous. I am so glad that I am not jealous.” (laughs), right? The ‘I’ is being created in some other way ready for being hurt (laughs).
Participant: So when that ‘I’ gets created in that particular incident as a reaction, may be the ‘I’ may not be jealous for that particular thing but that jealousy may arise in my heart for something else. That capacity to be jealous – I think I have created that for myself.
Kabir: And we do that in our education. We create the capacity to be jealous by saying ‘he has got so many marks and you have got so many marks’ or ‘he is good in Mathematics and you are not good’, right? So the brain is being conditioned to compare and assume that the comparison has some value, some intrinsic value which it doesn’t have.
Please go ahead – you don’t agree.
Participant 1: Competition doesn’t create intrinsic motivation, it creates external motivation.
Kabir: I did not understand what you are saying.
Participant 2: Intrinsic motivation is something that I am doing the activity and it by itself is my pleasure. External motivation with comparison is when I am compared to someone, it gives external motivation.
Kabir: So you are saying that when I do something with complete Love, there is no external motivation?
Participant: That creates intrinsic motivation.
Kabir: No, it’s a mistake. Why do you use the word ‘motivation’.
Participant: Ok…I can…
Kabir: I Love my child but I don’t Love him because he is growing to be alright, Isn’t it? I Love my child.
Participant: Its intrinsic motivation.
Kabir: There is no motivation. Look at the word ‘motivation’.
Participant: Meaning to motivate.
Kabir: It may be language problem, but motivation usually means I am doing this because I will get that. That is the meaning of the word – ‘motivation’. But if I am doing this regardless of what I get, its not motivation. It is just so.
Participant: It can be done with pleasure…
Kabir: Careful, pleasure is destructive, pleasure is a kind of motivation, just watch it. Pleasure says I want this to happen again, right? Within the structure of pleasure, there is wanting it to happen again and that becomes the future. So motivation whether intrinsic or extrinsic, pleasure creates the feeling of ‘I’ existing in time, right?
Participant: Loving the child daily again and again…
(Kabir laughs, everyone laughs).
Kabir: You are saying it is very difficult. You have to keep telling – ‘Its my child and I have to Love it’ (laughs), right?
Participant: If you miss the child, let’s say he goes to study for a month or a year, you will miss him, right?
Kabir: Then you don’t Love the child. You Love yourself, right? When you miss the child, you say ‘I want my child with me, because it gives me a feeling of pleasure or it gives me a feeling of completeness, it gives a meaning of fullness in Life’. Why do you call it ‘Loving my child’? You should call it as ‘Loving yourself’. Sorry for being so brutal, but it’s a fact (laughs).We actually love our feelings but pretend as if we Love them. That’s the real thing. Moreover we use this stupid evidence for saying ‘I Love’, like ‘I Love him so much’ or ‘I am so attached to him’ or ‘I miss him so much’ and therefore it means I Love him. Nonsense…You Love yourself.
Participant: Then what is ‘Love’?
Kabir: First end this, then you will discover what Love is and what Happiness is.
Participant: And the self and the ending of the self.
Kabir: Happiness is a state of mind in which there is no contradiction whatsoever and happiness is not same as pleasure. Pleasure is the movement of thought seeking the repetion of a particular sensation and that demand for pleasure is considered to be happiness. But in that very demand for pleasure, can’t you see that it creates the potential for sorrow.
Participant: I was just thinking about that. Just yesterday only we talked about it a little bit and then we were…I was just thinking about that demand for pleasure… I can understand but having some pleasures of Life, like you watch a movie, its fine. We…
Kabir: Yes, its fine only if you can let go when you can’t watch it.
Participant: To enjoy a movie, one should not make a problem out of it but the demand for watching the movie every day that creates the problem.
Kabir: Watching every day or even feeling incomplete without watching that movie, that is also the demand for pleasure.
Participant: That is the urge to watch.
Kabir: The urge to watch or to control myself because I should not have too many pleasures, which is what creates the feeling of incompleteness or contradiction. Otherwise you will watch a movie and it is over. You finish.
Participant: No, that’s not what we spoke yesterday. You watch a movie, you enjoy it, finish with it and not ask for continuation.
Kabir: Now there was a very interesting conversation between Krishnamurti and David Bohm, Krishnamurti is talking about this particular thing about desire wherein he is saying that I look at a car. It is very beautiful. If I have the money, I’d like to buy the car. If I don’t have the money, that’s the end of it. This doesn’t create the feeling of incompleteness which says that I wish that I had the money or it is too bad or how do I earn or what kind of job should I get?… None of that. Then it is not a problem at all. Even getting of a car is not a problem. But that’s not the way it functions mostly. I look at the car, I say I want the car, I say I cannot have the car, there is a feeling of incompleteness because the thought goes on chewing on the fact that there is not enough money to buy the car.
Participant: This example of watching a movie or you also took the example of eating a dosa, it is actually a real problem for me.
Kabir: You like the dosa? You like it too much?… (laughs)
Participant: Watching movie is fine in that small sense but we also need to look at the whole sense. The same example of eating a dosa is fine when you take pleasure in it, its fine at that moment but is it having an implication on your health? So we have to see the whole and not limit ourselves to eating dosa or watching movie.
Kabir: So your brain should not be scattered. To come back to the original thing, if my brain is not scattered, then eating of dosa doesn’t take over so completely that there is no sensitivity to the body as to what might happen to the body or what else has been eaten that day. In the context of that whole, the eating of the dosa will take place or not take place, but normally what happens is the minute there is a pleasurable experience that comes, the brain gets absorbed and all the energy gets absorbed in that whole thing, right? So there is no watching of the whole.
Particiapant: It could be also because my whole Life is not in order. For e.g., I don’t know how to cook or I don’t have the time to cook, then I am forced to go out and eat the dosa or something like that. Somehow, I need to bring order in my Life so that the small thing has place.
Kabir: I think what Krishnamurti would say is that there is an art of bringing order to your Life without creating a structure, that the very sensitivity, the very alertness and awareness will bring its own order into your Life and you don’t have to get trapped into creating a structure and holding onto that structure.
Participant: In the same context, I want to ask a question. Today morning, Pradeep was reading or saying, ‘Thought in itself is very insecure. So it creates the Thinker and also the ‘I‘. I can see in myself, a constant urge for authority and structure. What is the relationship between all these?’ I see there link between all these.
Kabir: Would you say that the very seeking of security is a false movement? Yes, It’s a false movement in the sense that , in the very seeking of security, the thinker gets created and future gets created.
Kabir: So thought is seeking psychological security. To be alert when you are going in the dark or to watch for a snake or to be careful, not to step on a snake, these are not seeking of security. That’s just alertness to danger i.e., the preservative movement of the organism. But what we are calling seeking of security is seeking of psychological security and in the very movement of thought seeking psychological security, the thinker gets created and the future gets created. That movement is disorder.
Participant: The thinker itself is insecurity.
Kabir: When the thinker is created, the insecurity is established, because there is immediately separation.
Participant 1: So thinker is insecure and not the thought?
Participant 2: Both.
Kabir: In the sense, thinker is not apart from those particular thoughts. So there, it is very interesting. Supposing I have had a disagreement with Murali, normally what might happen is I say, ‘Oh! I better be careful or I don’t want to talk to that man again or let us get together and talk over completely so that we don’t make this mistake again’. These are all the usual reactions.
There is a completely different capacity in which the brain doesn’t move in the direction of getting hurt or wanting to explain or wanting to judge…the brain doesn’t do any of those. So I meet Murali next time without a problem. In meeting Murali without a problem, we can talk about what happened yesterday and say ‘Oh! lets make sure it doesn’t happen again, right?’ But that’s a very different relationship rather than this constant insecurity which says ‘I have to work with Murali, we are misunderstanding each other and I don’t know why however much we try to talk over, we seem to…’
There is no need for all that. Same thing applies to husband and wife also. It is an act wherein if the brain sees danger, it does not go in that direction. It is not an act of will. It is not a decision but it is like the brain sees the danger and it does not move in that direction at all. That’s all.
Participant: You said the brain sees danger…
Kabir: Yes. There is a perception of the danger of thought moving in that direction. But the danger doesn’t seem to be seen and that’s because ‘Thought’ is trying to see the danger. ‘Thought’ can see danger only in terms of itself and its own continuity. ‘Thought’ can never see that its continuity itself is a danger. Once that is seen, there is no problem.
Participant: Or is it not that, there is enough energy given to it to see it through and through?
Kabir: It is also that .You see, we are all very third rate students (laughs).
Participant 1: I keep telling that but I still don’t see the danger (laughs).
Participant 2: You are saying brain sees the danger but by this you don’t mean the physical brain, right?
Kabir: Yes, it is not the physical brain. Perception of the total.
Look is it not possible to see the danger of division as nationality? It is very easy to see that, right? Therefore it is absolutely easy to see any division even psychologically. Then there is the perception in what ways thought can create division. Thought creates division when there is identification. Thought creates division when there is holding onto a particular pattern, ideology etc. Then there is energy to meet all these in daily Life and it becomes very interesting.
Participant: So, what if I don’t see the entire structure?
Kabir: Sir, if you don’t see the entirety, what will happen is you will make a formula out of it. It loses its vitality and becomes a rigid thing and then probably you will entrench yourself in that and say ‘I am so proud that I am so disciplined’ etc. I am sorry. I hope you have held onto…
Participant 1: The question in my mind is that we have talked about thoughts but there is also a visual memory. In the sense, if one says something to you and if it hurts, then there is a feeling associated with the incident and if I just see that person again, that feeling arises.
Kabir: There the visual memory has got entangled with the psychological memory. Don’t say you just see that person and anger arises. Along with the seeing of the person, associations arise, memories arise and strong emotions arise. Right? That’s not only visual memory, that’s very psychological.
Participant: With that hurt, I have created an image about that person and about myself.
Kabir: All that arises. None of that is pure visual memory.
Kabir: Would you say emotion is a memory or a reality?
Kabir: It can be both. There is happiness which you can call as emotion which has nothing to do with thought or seeking of pleasure or it has nothing to do with that thing which is alright for me and it will continue to be alright. It has nothing to do with that. That’s the state of happiness and if you can call it as natural state then it has nothing to do with thought and pleasure. Love has nothing to do with thought and pleasure, but unfortunately, we mix up words. We use the word ‘Love’ for attachment or dependence or happiness. We are confused and say happiness is when my pleasures are fulfilled and when all my pleasures are not fulfilled but actually it’s the greatest sorrow, right?
Participant: Yes, we want it again and again (laughs). If I want again and again, its sorrow, otherwise if I am…
Kabir: But it’s the nature of seeking of pleasure. As you said, it’s the seeking of pleasure, seeking of security which is the problem.
Participant: Feeling secure is not a problem, seeking it is.
Kabir: Running away from Tiger is not a problem.
Participant: When a feeling arises, what is that actually feels the feeling? We always feel that…
Kabir: Most of the time, what you feel is sensations linked with certain memories. You call that feeling. There’s relationship between sensations and memories. Am I making sense?
Imagine seeing somebody you had lot of pleasure with, there is arising of senses with memory and this is what we call feeling. But there is a totally different movement of feeling which is not rooted in memory at all. That has a different quality to it. In that there is no attachment nor there is complication whatsoever, because it is not seeking. It is not seeking permanence. It is not seeking to establish itself, but normally what we human beings experience is the former. David Bohm used to talk about thinking and thoughts and feeling and felts. What we normally experience as feelings are really felts. The sensations, memory held in the brain coming forward again, right? You see that…and that’s a trap!
The brain begins to function only with that limited energy.
Participant: So sir, right now you are saying that the strong feelings generated out of the thought process are generally perceived as emotions which is…
Kabir: Yes, that’s right. It is really the felts.
Participant: What is the origin of thought and the origin of emotions?
Kabir: It is the same.
Participant: Is it the same or are they different?
Kabir: Again, it depends. Love has no origin in thought. Happiness has no origin in thought which is why bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda), i.e., Ananda has nothing to do with thought.
Participant: Sir, a child, a 3 month old child…
Kabir: has that quality. Yes, he laughs. Have you seen?
Participant: Yes, there is no expectation.
Kabir: It is amazing how happy children can be. They may be in a refugee camp and there is nothing there and the child is still laughing. It is amazing. But such an extraordinary capacity, we destroy. That is the tragedy.
Participant: That’s what we do in the name of education.
Kabir: That’s what we do through education i.e., we structure it (laughs). We replace ‘I am happy’ with ‘I will be happier’ and bring in comparison and all those things and make things extremely complicated.
Participant: Sir, actually there are no degrees of happiness.
Kabir: It is just happiness. But is it possible for the brain to see that or for it to have the perception that this seeking of happiness, seeking of pleasure and seeking of security is totally dysfunctional?
Shall we stop?
Participant: This should be continued. I think it was really good.