J. Krishnamurti Sixteenth Conversation with Dr Allen W. Anderson (1974)
A Wholly Different Way of Living: Religion & Authority 2
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J. Krishnamurti Sixteenth Conversation with Dr Allen W. Anderson in San Diego, California
A Wholly Different Way of Living
Anderson: Mr Krishnamurti in our series of conversations we have reached, it seems to me, an especially critical place. In our last discussion together we touched on the question of authority, not only in relation to what is out there, that we project, and what is out there that faces us, literally, but also the question at the deeper level of my relationship within that. And the point where in the enquiry, in going deeply into myself, in self-examination, there is a point of boggling, when one boggles, one is hesitant, and trembles. It is a real fear and trembling that occurs at the brink of that enquiry. And I think you, at the conclusion of our former conversation, were moving toward a discussion of that in terms of its role in the religious life.
Krishnamurti: That's right.
K: Sir, why do we hesitate? That's what it comes to, what you are saying. Why do we not take the plunge? That's what you are asking.
A: That's what I'm asking, yes.
K: Why is it always coming to the brink and withdrawing, running away? Why don't we see the thing as is and act? Is it, sir, part of our education, that has cultivated function, enormous function, we give tremendous importance to function - as an engineer, as a professor as a doctor, and so on, so on - functioning in a particular technique. And we have never cultivated, or encouraged or enquired into what is intelligence. Where there is intelligence there won't be this hesitation. There is action. I mean when one is very sensitive, you act. That sensitivity is intelligence. Now, in education, as I have observed it both here and in India and other parts of the world, education is merely training the mind to function to the dictates of society. So many engineers are wanted, so many doctors are wanted. (Laughs) If you get into a profession where there are few you might make more money.
A: You have to watch out for the glut. (Laughs)
K: Glut, yes. Don't become a scientist, there are enough scientists, or whatever it is.
A: Oh dear, dear, yes.
K: So we are encouraged and trained to function in the field of activity as functions, careers. Now we hesitate to enter or plunge into something that demands all your attention, not fragmentary, all your attention because we don't know the measure. We know how to measure function. Here we have no measure. Therefore I depend. Therefore I won't reason here because I don't know how to reason. I don't say to a man who says 'I know,' what? I say, 'What do you know? You only know something that's gone, finished, dead. You can't say I know something that's living. And so gradually, as I see it, the mind becomes dull, restless. Its curiosity is only in the direction of functioning. And it has no capacity to enquire. To enquire you must have freedom first. I can't enquire otherwise. If I come to enquire to something which I have to enquire about, if I have prejudices I can't enquire. If I have conclusions about that I can't enquire. Therefore there must be freedom to enquire. And that is denied, because I've laid, society and culture laid tremendous importance on function. And function has its own status.
A: Oh, yes, yes. It's exalted ultimately into process.
K: Yes. Into a status.
K: So status matters much more than function.
K: And so I live in that field, live in that structure and if I want to enquire into religion, what is religion, what is God, what is immortality, what is beauty - I can't do it. I depend on an authority. And I have no basis for reasoning - you follow, sir? - in this vast field of religion. So it is partly the fault of our education, partly our incapacity to look at anything objectively. Our incapacity to look at a tree without all the rigmarole, knowledge, screen, blocks, that prevents me from looking at the tree. I never look at my wife, if I have a wife, or a girl, or whatever, I never look. I look at her or him through the image I have about him or her. So the image is the dead, dead thing. So I never look at a living thing. I never look at nature, with all the marvel of it, the beauty of it, the shape, the loveliness of it. But I am always translating it, trying to paint it, write about it or enjoy it, or - you follow?
K: So from that arises the question, why do I, why do human beings accept authority, obey? Is it because they have been trained in the field of function where you must obey to learn, you follow? - you can't just...
A: Oh yes. No, it has its own laws built in.
K: Laws. It has its own disciplines.
K: It has its own laws, its own ways. Because I have been trained that way I bring that over here into the field of religion, into the field of something that demands freedom. Freedom not at the end, right from the beginning. The mind must be free from authority, from the beginning. If I want to find out what is God, not I believe in God, that has no meaning, if there is God, if there is no God, I really want to find out. I am terribly serious. And if I am really serious, I am really concerned to the understanding, learning about God, if there is God, I must push aside completely all the beliefs, all the structure, all the churches, all the priests, all the books, all the things that thought has put together about religion. You follow?
A: Yes, I do. I've been thinking very hard about your word 'intelligence' and the word 'truth' in relation to what you have been saying. And the passage from the gospel came to my mind which would end up, I think. with a very different exegesis in terms of what you've been saying, if one applied what you've been pointing to, to this text. 'When he, the spirit of truth is come he will guide you into all truth and the truth shall make you free.' The truth is called a spirit here. And in the very same St. John's gospel, God is also called spirit. A radical act, not this spirit over there, out there somewhere that I have projected. If one takes seriously, the terrible thing is that it hasn't been taken seriously.
K: Because we are not allowed to be serious, sir.
A: We can't even be serious about the thing that is claimed that we must be the most serious about.
K: Serious about. That's just it.
A: Yes, I know. I know what you mean.
K: I mean we are not serious about our children. We don't feel responsible for them, right through life. Only till they are four, five, six, we are responsible, you know. After that they can do what they want. So freedom and authority cannot possibly exist together. Freedom and intelligence go together. And intelligence has its own innate, natural, easy discipline, discipline in the sense of, not of suppression, control, imitation and all that, but discipline which is the act of learning all the time.
A: In attention.
K: Yes, in attention.
A: In attention. This intelligence that you speak of is associated with splendour, isn't it?
A: Its advent is immediate, not gradual.
K: No, of course not. The perception is intelligence.
A: The perception is intelligence.
K: And therefore acting.
A: And perception is the act.
K: Of course.
A: So the act, intelligence, beauty...
K: All these.
A: ...love, truth, freedom...
K: Death, all those are one.
A: ...order, they form a complete, total, integral movement in act.
K: That's right.
A: That in itself looked at positively is even, once it's translated into a concept...
K: Oh, then there is no longer that.
A: ...becomes in itself an occasion for terror again.
K: Of course,
A: Because it seems that it runs away too fast from you.
A: As soon as you... Yes I see. Isn't that marvellous. It's as though these that you've mentioned, beauty, intelligence, love, freedom...
K: ...and death,
A: ...have, so to speak, secured themselves against all tom-foolery.
K: Yes, sir. Absolutely. Quite right.
A: They are so radically pure, that any foolery...
K: So, sir, that means can the mind put aside totally all the structure of thought with regard to religion? It can't put away the function of thought in the field of knowledge. That we have understood. That's very clear. But here there is something, I don't know, we don't know - you follow, sir? We pretend we know. When a man says, Jesus is Saviour or whatever, it is a pretension. It is saying, 'I know and you don't know.' What do you know, in the name of heaven, you know nothing! You just repeat what you have learned from somebody else. So can the mind, in the field of religion, because religion is, as we said at the beginning, the gathering of all energy in that quality of attention. And it is that quality of attention that regenerates man, that brings about real transformation in man with regard to his conduct, his behaviour, his whole way of relationship. Religion is that factor. Not all this foolery that is going on. Now, to enquire, the mind must put aside all the structure of thought built around that word. You follow, sir?
A: Yes I do.
K: Can one do it? If not, we are pretending, talking about god, no god, yes god. (Laughs) You follow? All that nonsense that is going on. So that is the first question. Can the mind be free of the authority of another, however great, however sublime, however divine or no divine, you follow?
A: And because an act is required in order to answer this question...
A: ...the individual must do this on his own.
K: Otherwise he merely lives in a routine of function, which he has, which he is still doing and therefore he escapes into all these circuses which he calls religion.
A: This came home to me with great dramatic force yesterday in class. On the one hand we have textbooks; textbooks which have survived the centuries because of their classical value in that sense. And the usual way in which this material is taught, is that one learns, let us say something about the Chinese vision of life. Then we have the Hindu vision of life and so we accumulate over a long period of time through school, clear through graduate school, if you hang in there long enough, if you can stand it, you come into possession of...
K: ...what other people have said.
A: ...what other people have said.
K: But you know nothing about it.
A: Exactly. You acquire certain skills in the order of function, as you have mentioned. Now the teacher has a problem. I am thinking of these schools that you have referred to in India and the one that will be in Ojai. There is a body of material here, clearly the teacher must be in possession of knowledge in the order of functional operation, procedural techniques and so forth. He simply has to know. The child is going to read books.
K: Of course.
A: In these schools that you've mentioned he is going...
K: Oh they do, they do.
A: ...to read. They read books. Books. And all of them haven't been written necessarily by somebody who is undertaking to do the thing that goes on between the students and the teachers in these schools. Now the teacher must handle this written material in books in a way to indicate to the child, the younger student, the older student that it is possible to read this material without being self-divided in doing it.
K: And also what would you do if there was no book?
A: You'd be in the same position.
K: No, if there was no book, nobody saying tradition, you have to find out for yourself.
A: But that's what we are asking him to do with his book, aren't we?
K: Are we?
A: No, no. Not in general. But in this new approach.
K: Ah, of course, of course.
A: In this new approach we must somehow...
K: ...bring the book and the other.
A: ...bring the book and the other together.
K: ...and the freedom. Book and freedom.
A: Yes. This is what hit me with such shock yesterday in class. And I immediately felt radically responsible for doing this, n so far as I could. And I was surprised to see that though the students were extremely hesitant, there was a lot of anxiety there, real fear and trembling. What of health they possessed did assert itself and there was tremendous interest in the possibility. But then there was the hesitation that somehow wasn't passed.
K: Passed, quite.
A: The hesitation is there. I have this feeling that this has happened through the centuries with persons who have seriously studied scripture - since we were talking about religion. Sometimes you can detect it in their very commentaries, in their very writing. They come right up to it...
K: And miss it.
A: ...and then they can't...
K: ...make it.
A: ...push it over. They can't go...
K: I understand.
A: ...beyond the point.
K: That is, sir, it has been my fortune or misfortune to talk a great deal. And everybody comes to that point. They say, please what am I to, I've reached that point I can't go beyond. Sir, look at it this way, if I may suggest: if I had a class, I wouldn't talk about the book first. I'd say freedom. You're second-hand people. Don't pretend you're not. You're second-hand, sloppy, shoddy people. And you are trying to find something that is original - god is, the reality is original. It's not coloured by all the priests in the world. It's original. Therefore you must have an original mind. Which means a free mind. Not original in painting a new picture, or a new this, that's all tommyrot. But a free mind. A free mind that can function in the field of knowledge, and a free mind that can look, observe, learn. Now, how do you help another, or is it not possible to be free? You understand? Look, I never belonged to anything. I have no church, or no belief, all that. A man who really wants to find out if there is eternal, the nameless, something beyond all thought, he must naturally set aside everything built on thought: the saviour, the masters, the gurus, the knowledge - you follow? - all that. Are there people to do that? You follow? Will anybody undertake that journey? Or will they say, well, you tell me all about it, old boy. I'll sit comfortably, and then you tell me.
A: Yes, yes, that's what goes on.
K: I say, I won't describe that. I won't tell you a thing about it. To put it into words is to destroy it. So, let us see if you cannot be free. What are you frightened about? Frightened of authority? Frightened of going wrong? But you are completely wrong the way you live, completely stupid the way you are carrying on, it has no meaning. You follow, sir? Deny the spiritual authority of every kind. What are you frightened of? Going wrong spiritually? They are wrong. Not you are wrong because you are just learning. They are the established in unrighteousness.
A: (Laughs) That's beautiful. Yes.
K: And so, why do you follow them? Why do you accept them? They are degenerate. And can you be free from all that, so that your mind through meditation, which we will discuss, perhaps another time, what it means to be free, what it means to wipe away all the things that people have put on you. You understand? So that you are innocent. Your mind is never hurt, is incapable of being hurt. That is what innocency means. And from that enquire, let's take a journey from there. You follow, sir? From this sense of negation of everything that thought has put together. Because thought is time, thought is matter. And if you are living in the field of thought, there will be never freedom. You are living in the past. You may think you are living in the present, but actually you are living in the past when thought is in operation, because thought is memory, response of memory, knowledge, experience stored up in the brain. And that knowledge, experience is the expression of thought. Unless you understand that and know the limitation of thought you can't enter into the field of that which you call religion. You follow, sir? Unless this is told, repeated, shown to them, they can talk endlessly about books. This comes first. Then you can read the books.
K: Sir, the Buddha never read a book. He listened, watched, looked, observed, fasted; said, all that's rubbish, and threw it out.
A: I just thought of something that you said: one must keep on repeating this again.
K: In different ways.
A: In different ways, and again. I'm speaking now about teaching. This point of hesitation is the point where something will or will not get born.
K: That's right, sir.
A: That beautiful expression in earlier conversation about it that you used, 'incarnate now'.
K: Now, yes.
A: So we're on the brink. We're, in the words of Ortega I mentioned earlier, rocking back and forth on the brink of a new event. And we're not over the line. There is nothing that any of us can do at that point with respect to the terror of the one who hears this, including my own, I'm not dividing myself from this doing together with the student, since I'm a student in this activity. So here we are, student among students. And there is this boggling, this fear and trembling, and nothing can be done other than simply encourage.
K: And tell them, wait, stay there.
K: Hold. Doesn't matter if you wobble, but keep on wobbling.
A: Don't bolt.
K: Don't run away.
A: And so this is said in different ways over and over again. Now I understand what you meant by saying, now let's start the class ten minutes...
K: ...with this.
A: ...with this. We don't open the book.
K: That's right, sir.
A: We don't open the book, we start with this. And then when the book is opened perhaps the word, for a change, will disclose itself.
K: That's right.
A: (Laughs) Because intelligence has broken out.
K: That's right.
A: And behold it's all splendid. Yes, yes, yes I, please, I didn't mean to interrupt you. I just wanted to make sure that I have - it's terribly important that I understand this.
K: Because, you see, sir, students rush from one class to the other, because the period is short, run, from mathematics to geography, from geography to history, chemistry, biology - you follow? - run, run. And if I was one of the professors, teachers I would say, 'Look, sit down. Be quiet for five minutes. Be quiet. Look out of the window if you want to. See the beauty of light on the water or the leaf and look at this and that, but be quiet.'
A: We teach in classes that don't have windows now. (Laughs)
K: Of course, naturally.
A: Yes, I was just being facetious.
K: Of course, sir.
A: But not only facetious. It's a horror.
K: Horror, that's what... You are trained to be functional. You follow, sir?
A: I know.
K: Don't look at anything else but be monkeys. And my child is brought up that way.
K: It is appalling.
A: The classroom is a tomb. Yes.
K: So, I say, 'sit quietly.' Then after sitting quietly I talk about this first. I have done this in schools. Talk about this, freedom, authority, beauty, love, you know, all that we have been discussing. Then pick up your book. But you have learned much more here than in the book.
A: Oh, yes. Oh, sure.
K: Therefore the book shows what you're - you follow?
A: Yes. Exactly. Exactly. The book is seen...
K: Book becomes a second-hand thing.
A: Yes. It's seen with a clean eye.
K: That's why, sir, I personally have never read a single book of all this, neither the Gita, the Upanishads, all that, what the Buddha has said. It somehow bored me. Sorry. It meant nothing to me. What has meant anything was to observe: observe the very poor in India; observe the rich, the dictators, the Mussolinis, the Hitlers, the Krushchevs and Brezhnevs, all that - watch them, and the politician. And you learn an awful lot. Because the real book is you. Do you understand, sir? If you can read your book which is yourself you have learned everything, except the functional knowledge. So when there is self-knowing, authority has no meaning. I won't accept. Why should I accept these people that bring truth from India? That's not truth they are bringing! They are bringing a tradition, what they believe. So, can the mind put away everything that man has taught or invented, imagined about religion, God, this and that? That means, can this mind, which is the mind of the world, which is the mind of common consciousness, can that consciousness empty itself of all the things man has said about reality? Otherwise I can't - you follow, sir?
A: Can't begin.
K: Not only begin, what do I discover? What other people have said? What Buddha, Christ, why should I accept that?
A: Well, the terrible thing is, I'm not in a position to grasp whatever they said that was worthwhile until this occurs. This is...
K: So freedom, sir, is an absolute necessity.
A: Oh, yes. Absolutely.
K: But none of them say this. On the contrary they say, freedom will come to you much later. Be in the prison for the rest of your life. When you die you'll have freedom. That's what they are preaching, essentially. So, can the mind, the heart, and all the storehouse in the brain be free of the things that man has said about reality? Sir, that's a marvellous question. You understand, sir?
A: Oh I do, I do. One of the things that seems to me of remarkable cogency in our discussions, in our conversations, has been how continually you have returned to a question.
A: Return to the question. And the notion of return in its depth, has, it seems, if I've followed you correctly, been quite erroneously presented. The return has been presented as a movement to an answer.
K: Quite, quite.
A: But that is not a re-turn.
K: (Laughs) No, of course, not.
A: No. Because the turn is toward that original that you mentioned. Therefore it is to the question, not to the answer at all. Is it...
K: Quite, quite. Quite right, sir. You know I was staying once in Kashmir right among the hills, mountains. And a group of sannyasis, monks, came to see me, freshly bathed and everything, done all the ceremony, and all that. They had come to see me. And they told me, they said they had just come from a group of unworldly people, who are super-monks, who were very high up in the mountains. And they said they are totally unworldly. I said, 'What do you mean by that word, sirs?' They said, 'They have just left the world. They are no longer tempted by the world. And they have this great knowledge of the world.' And, I said, 'When they have left the world, have they left the memory of the world?' The memory, the knowledge which the world has made - you follow? - which the gurus have put together, the teachers. He said, 'That's wisdom. How can you leave wisdom?' I said, 'You mean wisdom is bought through a book, through a teacher, from another, through sacrifice, torture, renunciation?' You follow, sir, their idea? That is, wisdom is something you can buy from somebody else.
A: They went up the mountain with all this baggage.
K: Baggage, that's right. That's exactly what I said. All the baggage which you have put away - the world, you've probably, but you've carried their baggage. You follow, sir?
A: Oh goodness me.
K: So that is really an important thing if a mind is really very serious to find out what religion means. Not all this rubbish. I keep on repeating because that seems to be mounting, you know, growing. But to free the mind from all the growth, accretions, and therefore which means see the accretions, see all the absurdities.
A: This throws a very, very different cast on our word 'worldly'.
K: Yes, That's just it.
A: They are going up the mountain in order to leave the world. But they are taking immense pains to take it with them.
K: That's right, sir. That's what they are doing when they go into the monastery.
A: Of course, of course, of course. Goodness. Accretions, encrustations.
K: So now, I come back: can the mind be completely alone? Not isolated, not withdrawn, not build a wall around itself, say, 'And then I'm alone'. But alone in the sense, that aloneness that comes when you put away all this, all the things of thought. You understand, sir? Because thought is so clever, cunning. It can build a marvellous structure and call that reality. But thought is the response of the past, so it is of time. Thought being of time, cannot create something which has no time. Thought can function in that field of knowledge. It is necessary, but not in the other. And this doesn't need bravery. It doesn't need sacrifice. It doesn't need torture. Just perception of the false. To see the false is to see the truth in the false. I don't know...
A: To see the false is to see the truth in the false.
K: Of course.
A: I must repeat that again. To see the false is to see the truth in the false.
K: And see what is considered truth as the false.
A: Yes, yes.
K: So my eyes are stripped of all the false, so that there is no inward deception whatsoever, because there is no desire to see something, to achieve something. Because the moment there is a desire to experience, to achieve, to arrive at enlightenment, all that, there is going to be illusion, something desire has created. Therefore the mind must be free of this pursuit of desire and its fulfilment, which we discussed previously. Understand what the structure of desire is. We went into, talked a great deal about that. So it comes to this point, can the mind be free and free of all the things which are born of fear, and desire and pleasure? That means one has to understand oneself at great depth.
A: The thing that keeps popping up is that one can repeat those questions...
K: Yes, sir.
A: ...and start to think that he has grasped them.
K: You grasp the words.
A: Exactly. There is something which you have to come out the other side of.
K: Quite right.
A: But the repetition of the question does have a functional value.
K: I know.
A: It seems to me.
K: Yes, sir, it does. That is if the person is willing to listen.
A: If he is willing to listen, because thought is incredibly deceitful.
A: As you have pointed out. Goodness! I was just thinking of poor old Jeremiah's words: the heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Surely he must have...
K: ...tasted something.
A: Yes, and of course, as with the whole line... But I was asking myself this question concerning why I went on to continue my formal education. And in following this deeply, it seems to me to go back to something that is going to sound very absurd, but it has something to do with everything you've said, you've been talking about. When I was very small, growing up in England, I was put to school rather earlier than many American children were put to school, and I always read a great deal of poetry. I don't know what has happened to us in this country, but poetry doesn't really exist for the populace at all.
K: No, sir, I know.
A: But, thank God, I was brought up on it daily.
K: Yes, in England of course everybody reads poetry, Greek, Latin, we all went through it.
A: And I was always read poetry by the young woman employed by my parents to look after me and my little sister, and so forth. I never went to sleep without hearing it. One day when I was very small, at school, the teacher read 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat', that mad thing, marvellously mad thing, Edward Lear wrote.
K: Edward Lear, yes. (Laughs)
A: Yes, and you know I was never the same again. And I know now why - it sounds absolutely absurd - I came to experience in language a splendour that I never lost touch with, despite all the struggles I had with my teachers. I had a bad time in school to get to the end of formal education and I have to say that doesn't sound very good, but I did. I had a pretty grim time. And one of the reasons for the grim time was my refusal to give this up, this...
K: Quite, the Pussy Cat in the boat.
A: The fact that there's a bird and a cat in the same boat. And the man is describing what you called act, movement in which truth and beauty and so on move along. Oh, goodness.
K: Sir, I think we ought to, after coming up to this point, we ought to go very deeply again into the question of meditation.
K: Because religion, in the sense we are talking about, and meditation go together. That means religion isn't just an idea but is actual conduct in daily life. Your thoughts, your speech, your behaviour is the very essence of religion. You understand, sir? If that doesn't exist religion can't exist.
K: It's just words, you can go around spinning a lot of words, go to various circus tents. But that's not religion. So after establishing that deeply in oneself, and the understanding of religion, then the next thing is: what is meditation? That is of tremendous importance, because meditation is something that is really, if it is understood properly, is the most extraordinary thing that man can have. Meditation is not divorced from daily life.
A: What was running through my mind was, not mistaken, that the root relation to the word 'medesti', 'medeo'.
K: 'Medeo' is to think, to ponder, to go into.
A: In Homer, it actually carries the idea of 'to provide for' in the sense of to care for. Very beautiful. It brings up the question that you raised earlier of true care.
K: Yes, sir.
A: That one is not meditating unless he is...
A: ...careful and caring.
K: Caring rather than careful, yes.
A: Yes. It's all there in the word, but we don't look, won't have a look. Yes, yes please go on, please.
K: You see when we have divorced conduct from religion, which we have, divorced relationship from religion, which we have, divorced death from religion, which we have, divorced love from religion, when we have made love into something sensuous, something that is pleasurable, then religion, which is the factor of regeneration, disappears in man. And that's why we are so degenerate. And if I may be very emphatic, unless you have this quality of a mind that is really religious, degeneracy is inevitable. You follow, sir? Look at the politicians who are supposed to be the rulers, the guides, the helpers of the people: they are degenerate. You see what is happening in this country and everywhere. They are so corrupt. And they want to bring order. They are so irreligious. They may go to church, Baptists or whatever they are, and yet they are really irreligious, because they don't behave. And so man is becoming more and more degenerate. You can see it, sir. Because religion is the factor that brings a new quality of energy. It is the same old energy but it has become a new quality. So the brain doesn't degenerate. As we get older we tend to degenerate. But it doesn't, because it is the freedom from every kind of security of the 'me' has no place.
A: I noticed this in class yesterday with this business about energy that you are just talking about. There was a quickening...
K: Yes, sir.
A: ...that took place. There was at the end of the class, and it was strenuous, because of this terrible hesitation. But even so there was a release of energy which has nothing to do with entertainment at all, people running to get their minds off themselves, as they say, which, of course, is nonsense, because they are just grinding themselves into themselves some more with it. But in this particular case there was empirical demonstration of what you are saying. Something that is out there. It's to be seen. It's observable.
K: That's right, sir.
A: And behold, it sprung up like a green bay tree. Yes, please, please go on.
K: You see, sir, that's why the priests throughout the world have made religion into something profitable, both the worshipper and the intermediary. It has become a business affair, intellectually business, or it has become really commercial, not only physically but inwardly, deeply: do this and you will reach that.
A: Utilitarian to the core.
K: Which is commercial.
K: And so, unless this is put an end to we are going to degenerate more and more and more. And that's why I feel so immensely responsible, personally. Tremendously responsible to the audience when I talk to, when I talk, when I go to the various schools in India, I feel I am responsible for those children. You follow, sir?
A: Yes, of course. I do. I certainly do.
K: I say, 'For god's sake, be different. Don't grow up like that. Look.' I go into it very, very, you know, talk a great deal. And they begin to see. But the world is too strong for them. They have to earn a livelihood. They have to resist their parents who want them to settle down and have a good job, and marry, a house. You know, all that business.
A: Well, surely.
K: And the public opinion, and overpopulation, is much too strong.
A: The tremendous weight of that tradition of the four stages of life.
A: Of course.
K: So I say, let us find out if there are a few 'elite' - quote the word elite, if I may use that word without any snobbery - let's create a few, who really are concerned, a few teachers, few students. Even that becomes very difficult because most teachers are not good at this or that and therefore become teachers. You know what they are?
A: Yes. Oh dear, dear, dear, yes.
K: So everything, sir, is against you. Everything. The gurus are against you, the priests are against you, business people, the teachers, the politicians, everybody is against you. Take that for granted. They won't help you an inch. They want you to go their way. They've got their vested interest in all that.
A: Yes, I do see that. I do see that with clarity. In our next conversation do you think we could explore the activity of meditation within the context of all this horror...
K: Oh yes, sir, we will do it, we'll do it.
A: ...that we have described. Oh that's wonderful, yes.