Quote of the Day

Aug 26, 2023
And as thought has created the misery, the sorrow, the conflict among human beings with their separate ideologies, and these ideologies are the product of thought, whether it is the communist ideology or the democratic ideology or the dictatorship ideology, they are all the result of thought. Thought has created the problem, this present problem, and thought is being used to solve those problems. And you see what is happening: multiplication, deepening of problems. So when one realises that, the actuality of it, the truth of it, then one asks, is there a different instrument other than thought? Please we are asking this very, very serious question. Is there a different kind of instrument rather than that instrument which we have used, which is thought, which apparently has found no answer to any of these problems? Are we aware of this fact, that thought has created the religious divisions, thought has created your saviour and all the rituals, however beautiful they are. The speaker was once in Venice, and a Cardinal was performing a mass. It was the most beautiful thing one saw. It was a great sensation. And people were genuflecting, crossing themselves, it was great fun. Day after day for some length of time this went on. And that religion, not only the Christian religion, but the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Islamic world, have nothing whatsoever to do with our daily living. They are romantic, sentimental, and all that is the product of thought, the gods and all the circus that goes on in the name of religion.

So when you actually see the truth of it, then you begin to ask, and you can only ask this if there is tremendous doubt, scepticism, of all the things that thought has put together. Not only your consciousness, your behaviour, your conclusions, your opinions, your values, which are all the activity and the movement of thought. One must doubt all that to find out the truth. But most of us are frightened to doubt because when we doubt there is great uncertainty. It evokes fear.

So we are asking is there another instrument? Before we can investigate into that we must question also the whole problem of time. Time is a series of movements, both the outer - time by the watch, by daylight, sunlight, sun rising, sun setting, full moon and so on; to learn a language I must have time, to learn a skill one must have time - and psychologically time may be the enemy of man. The speaker is saying that. Please don't accept it. Look, please consider it. Together we are looking into it. We have been told, and our tradition says we must become something, not only in the outward world but also inwardly. The becoming implies time. We carry over from the becoming something in the world to the psychological field. I am this but I will be that. I am violent but through time, which is evolution, I will be... there will be the end to violence, or become non-violent, which is absurd. Violence can never become non-violent. I know it is one of the catchwords which Tolstoy and others in India have propagated, that you are violent, human beings are violent, inherited from the animals, apes and so on, and gradually through time, which is evolution, he will become non-violent.

Please see the importance of this. Evolution, which is the movement of time; time being a slow inward movement, that evolution through forty, fifty thousand years on this earth has brought us to this state, to the present condition of what we are - jealous, envious, angry, violent, brutal, cynical, bitter, frightened. After forty thousand years or more, we are what we are through evolution, and we hope through evolution we will be changed - which seems rather ridiculous. If evolution has not changed us now, will evolution ever change us? Please put these questions to yourself. So one may ask: time may be the enemy of man, psychologically. There is no psychological evolution. If you and the speaker are the result of forty thousand years or more, and we are come to this peculiar state that we are in, will we, give me another forty thousand years, change? You understand the question? It seems so absurd, nonsensical. Which is, I am violent, through time, through evolution I will be without any violence. And if I am eventually going to be non-violent, the end of violence, in the meantime I am violent. You understand?

So time, psychologically, is the enemy of man. Thought is time. So thought which is a material process, and time is a series of movements from this to that, from here to there psychologically, and they have brought about man to this present condition, to the present condition of great pain and sorrow and passing pleasure. Time will not resolve it, nor thought. If this is very clear, not as verbal explanation but an actual fact, then only we can ask if there is a different instrument rather than that which we have used, which is thought. Like a good carpenter, like a good mechanic, he throws away something that has no longer any use. But we don't. We cling to it. We say, show me the other instrument then I'll give up the other. And nobody is going to show it to you, including the speaker, because this is a matter of great serious investigation.
New York, USA | 1st Public Talk 9th April 1983 Read full text