I wonder what we mean by attitude. Why do we want an attitude? What does attitude mean? Taking up a position, coming to a conclusion. I have an attitude about whatever it is, which means I have come to a conclusion after study, after examining, after planning, after probing into the question. I have come to this point, to this attitude, which means that very assumption of an attitude is resistance; therefore that in itself is violence. We cannot have an attitude towards violence or hostility. That means you are interpreting it according to your particular conclusion, fancy, imagination, understanding. What we are saying is: is it possible to look at this hostility in oneself, this creating enmity in oneself, this violence, this brutality in oneself without any attitude, to see the fact as it is? The moment you have an attitude you are already prejudiced, you have taken a side and therefore you are not looking, you are not understanding that fact within yourself.
So, Sir, to look at oneself without an attitude, without any opinion, judgment, evaluation, is one of the most arduous tasks. In this looking there is clarity and it is that clarity which is not a conclusion, not an attitude, that dispels this total structure of brutality and hostility.
Talks in Europe 1968
Amsterdam 5th Public Talk 22nd May 1968