The value system has created 'you', and there is no way you can free yourself from that. Anything you do to free yourself from that value system is adding momentum to it.
Even the idea that you should control your thought in order to be in a thoughtless or peaceful state is created by thought, so that it can maintain its continuity through some petty little experience, through some thoughtless state you are interested in.
There is no such thing as consciousness at all, let alone higher consciousness, super-consciousness or cosmic consciousness. All these notions are created by thought.
Knowledge creates images. But there is no way that this physical functioning can create any image. The so-called psychological images have no place in the scheme of things. The eyes are like a camera. If you turn the camera from what it is looking at to something else, the whole thing where it was focused on earlier is wiped out.
All ideas of time, even those of chronological time, are arbitrary. All measurements are arbitrary. We accept them as workable, that is all.
The terror that if you try to destroy people around you, you are also going to be destroyed with them, may keep us together for a little while now. Certainly, it is not love, bliss, worship, or religious thinking.
Q: I want to ask you about your personal experiences, and I know you don't want to talk about them....
A: Very often people ask me such questions. But let me tell you, whatever has happened to me has happened despite everything I did. Some of the biographers who are keen on writing the story of my life are very anxious to know what I did, what I did not do, what helped me to stumble into this kind of thing, assuming for a moment that some event, occurrence, or happening in my life put me where I am today. But that is not something valid and true. You have to accept my word. If you don't accept what I say, it doesn't matter. Whatever had happened before whatever happened to me, all the events in my life before that, have no relevance to the way I am functioning now. And from that moment on, there is no story to tell. I am here today talking to you; tomorrow I will be somewhere else talking to my friends; and the day after tomorrow I will be in England. That is all. So, there is nothing that anybody can tell me after that.
I am a public man. I am here any moment you want to see what I am doing, all 24 hours. I have no private life of my own. Any time you want to know what U.G. is doing, at that particular time, in that particular situation, you can see. So, there is no story to tell. That is the reason why I maintain that whatever has happened to me happened despite everything I did. But you are interested in finding out how and why that particular thing I am talking about has happened to me and not to everybody. You want to establish a cause and effect relationship and make it possible for everybody to stumble into this kind of thing. That is something which cannot be produced or reproduced on an assembly line. It is a freak of nature.
Q: But we would be interested in knowing what the freak of nature was in U.G.
A: Even wanting to understand that has no meaning to you. You just leave it there. There are so many freakish things there in nature. If you try to copy them, you are lost. You are in the same situation as before. Even nature has no use for this body (pointing to his body). It has discarded it because it cannot reproduce something like this either physically or otherwise.
Q: So you have been discarded by nature?
A: Yes, discarded by nature. How can you turn this into a model? That is what we have done to all those discarded people whom we should have discarded for good.
Q: How many?
A: I don't know. Probably you can count on your fingers.
Q: The people who have had....
A: I don't know. I can't say. I am not interested in saying anything about them.
Q: But what about all the ideas -- the religious ideas through the ages, spiritual ideas? Is there any tradition that you know besides....?
A: I can say one thing: that is, all that is false as far as I am concerned and it has falsified me. So don't ask me the question, "How can all of them be false?" No, that is not the point. I don't want to be falsified because that is not the way I function. I wanted to relate whatever was their state of being with the way I was functioning, and then struggled and struggled so hard.
Q: You struggled....?
A: It got me nowhere. So, there is no way you can reject it, because it is that which has created what you call 'you'.
Q: What created me?
A: The value system has created 'you', and there is no way you can free yourself from that. Anything you do to free yourself from that value system is adding momentum to it. This is the one thing that never occurred to me at that time. What I was saying a while ago was that thought cannot be used as an instrument. You can use it to control, shape, and mold the value system. But you have no way of freeing yourself from it through thought. Even the idea that you should control your thought in order to be in a thoughtless or peaceful state is created by thought, so that it can maintain its continuity through some petty little experience, through some thoughtless state you are interested in.
Q: What about these states of higher consciousness that people speak of?
A: If there is any such thing, you are an expression of that. Why should nature or something, some cosmic power, if there is one in this world, need the help of somebody to express itself and help others? I don't see any need. If there is anything like that, you are as much an expression of it as any of these claimants. Every dog, every cat, every pig, every cow that you see, the garden slug there, you, me, and everybody, even Genghis Khan and Hitler are an expression of that same thing. They might have acted in a different way. You and I may act in a different way. But we are all expressions of the same thing, and there is no need for that to use any channel other than you. You are an expression of that.
But I even question consciousness itself. There is no such thing as consciousness at all, let alone higher consciousness, super-consciousness or cosmic consciousness. All these notions are created by thought. We were discussing this morning the idea that consciousness is a concept. You become conscious of things only through the help of knowledge. I become conscious of you only through the knowledge I have about you, which has been passed on to me. The fact that I say that you are a woman, that you are an intelligent woman, and that you are a pretty woman -- all this is part of that knowledge. Otherwise, I am not separate from you. There is no way I can look at you and say anything about you. The eyes act only as cameras.
Q: So there is no way you can perceive anything except through the knowledge?
A: Knowledge creates images. But there is no way that this physical functioning can create any image. The moment I turn to this side, the whole thing on the other side is wiped out.
Q: I disappear. (Laughs)
A: You disappear, because the eyes are not looking at you but at him or at that chair or at whatever they are focusing themselves on. But if he asks me, "Wasn't she pretty?" 'pretty' is a word, not an image. Do you understand? "She is very 'sharp'". Another word. I will talk about you in words, and it is a word- picture. But the images, the physical images are totally absent. The so-called psychological images have no place in the scheme of things. The eyes are like a camera. If you turn the camera from what it is looking at to something else, the whole thing where it was focused on earlier is wiped out. And what is there in the computer (pointing to his head) is only the word-picture, and probably the sounds.
These days they are dictating to computers. They have problems of dealing with accent. Computers will have some difficulty there, for instance, when an Indian is speaking with an Indian accent. They will have to learn the accent. These days you don't have to type it. That is the way the sounds are registered here in this computer (pointing to himself). The word-picture is here. That is all I give -- a word- picture. If I am not looking at you, I cannot create any image, because the eye is not focused on you. The problem is very simple. I don't know what you look like as I have no way of creating the image inside of me. So, it ceases to be a problem. "I saw or met an extraordinarily intelligent woman, a pretty woman --" what does that mean?
My daughter sometimes asks me, "See, I am your daughter. What does that mean to you?" It doesn't mean anything to me. If I happened to be next to her and if somebody asks me, "Who is she?" I will say, "This is my daughter;" that is, whatever the dictionary meaning of the word is.
Q: ....that is there in our system.
A: The image we have is superimposed on that word. That is really the problem. So, the physical images have to go fast. There is nothing that you can do about it. Nothing. Not a thing.
Q: What is physical: What is matter?
A: You don't even know.
Q: No, I am asking you. How would you describe that?
A: The same word that I use. You see, "This is my hand."
Q: Then what is matter? What is basic matter?
A: There is no matter at all. Matter is thought. You see, if you touch something hard, the sense of touch does not say that this is hard (U.G. touches the arm of the chair). But once you have the knowledge, the past knowledge, you say it is hard, because thought creates a space here and the enormous knowledge that I have about it....
Q: What is matter?
A: What is matter? You want a definition? Thought creates matter.
Q: That is what I was wondering about.
A: That is what I am saying.
Q: So, if we obliterate thought, matter would go too.
A: Definitions are of no interest to me, because what is there is energy.
Q: We were talking about matter. Matter is created by thought. If we did not think....?
A: Thought is matter.
Q: What about the dogs which don't have thought?
A: Probably they have some kind of thought. I don't know. But ours has become very complex and complicated.
Q: Is there thought, human thought, as part of this matter?
A: There is no thought. There are only thoughts. Is there a thought there in you?
Q: Sure, we talk about it.
A: No, is there a thought? At the very beginning I said the brain is not a creator. Thoughts are not spontaneous. They come from outside. You translate that particular noise (noise of thunder) with the help of the memory, which is neurons. They tell you that the noise is thunder. You recognize that. That is all there is to it -- the information. What is thought? We ask that question because of the assumption that there is a thought which you want to know about. But what there is is only about thoughts -- all the definitions. "Thought is matter," is a statement which by itself has no meaning at all.
Q: This statement, "Thought is matter," has no meaning?
A: Has no meaning at all. I have explained why thought is matter because....
Q: That has upset some physicists?
A: We don't care about the physicists. But they also say that there is no such thing as thought, there is no such thing as matter, there is no such thing as space, and there is no such thing as time. But what is all this time-and-space continuum? Such a continuum is necessary for them; otherwise their whole research collapses.
Is there space? No. There is no space. There is no way you can experience space. It is thought that creates it. Anything you say about space has no meaning. There is no way you can experience space at all. You can say there is no thought, there is no space, there is no matter, and there is no time. First, you create thought, then thought creates space, and then time is necessary to cover the distance, to experience the space, to capture it, and do something with it. So, then time comes in. But there is no time. The only time that is there is arbitrary. It is 11 p.m. here and 11 a.m. the next morning somewhere else. We are 12 hours behind. If you travel to or from India, you miss one day or you gain one day.
All ideas of time, even those of chronological time, are arbitrary. All measurements are arbitrary. We accept them as workable, that is all. As a little boy asked a man, "Why should two and two be four?" The man brought four apples, four mangoes, four oranges, and four rupees. Said the boy, "I am not interested in that. Is there number two without number one, and one without two? "Don't ask me those questions," the man said. There ends our mathematics, arithmetic. I take for granted that two and two is four. If you ask me for four dollars, I count and give you four dollars, four rupees, or four rubles, depending upon which country I happened to be in at that particular time. Even in the area of counting, there is always a reference point.
When somebody quotes the price of a particular thing, we always think in terms of the currency we are familiar with. Even for the valuation of a thing, there is a reference point -- the reference point is the dollar or the rupee or the pound, as the case may be. So is there matter? Is there space? This is not metaphysics that I am talking about, much less what the physicists are talking about, i.e., the impossibility of experiencing space. Without thought there is no way what you call 'you' can be separated. What you call 'you' is thought. There is no 'you' there other than this demand to experience space or matter or time, as the case may be. Thought has also created the idea of the timeless. All achievements are in time.
Q: Where do all these thoughts come from?
A: They are all over. There is a thought sphere in which we are all functioning. But one question (I don't ask myself that question because there is no point in posing that question to myself, nor am I interested in finding an answer for it) for which the answer is not very clear is: do these thoughts come from outside passed on from generation to generation, or are they also transmitted through the genes? I have every reason to believe that the totality of knowledge is not only transmitted through our education in all forms, shapes, sizes, and degrees, but also, to a greater extent, through the genes. Now they are saying that the capacity to learn not only languages but a language is genetically controlled.
Q: What do you think of the work that scientists are doing in genetic engineering?
A: I am all for it, but if it is handed over to the state, they will use it to make people do things without any resistance. Now you have to educate them, teach them patriotism, make them salute the flag, go to the war field, and use guns. It takes decades to brainwash people either to believe in God or not to believe in God, to believe in democracy, or to believe in Communism. But with genetics you don't have to do a thing. Just give a drug and they will go and kill. Even there, the first killing is all that is a problem; from then on, the killing is simpler. You ask any murderer. The first time you have the problem of killing, but from then on you act like a machine gun and kill people. It becomes a thoughtless action.
The basic question which we all have to ask and should be interested in is, what kind of human being do we want on this planet? What kind? What do you want a human being to be? What is your answer?` What you want can be created through the help of genes rather than through the process of educating people. You see, it takes years and years to make a man believe in something and free him from something else. If there is a tendency toward alcoholism, if there is a tendency to smoke, if there is a tendency to thieve, it is a lot easier to change that, for whatever reason, through the manipulation of the genes of that individual rather than giving him lectures on morality and teaching him. It take years and years that way.
Q: So change can happen through biological manipulation.
A: But when the knowledge acquired by genetics, or whatever you may call it, is passed on to the state, we are in trouble. After all, state patronage is necessary for them to carry on their research.
Q: Is it likely that it is going to become a function of the state?
A: It will. You see, they will hand it over.
Q: At least in some places....
A: Yes, everywhere; why 'some places'? If you don't do it, some other country will do it.
Q: What you are saying is that there is a possibility of evolving a new species through the engineering of genes.
A: Is there any such thing as evolution? I question even that. Darwin has put us all on the wrong track. He said that acquired characteristics are not transmitted from generation to generation. But that is no longer true now. For a hundred years we believed him. For a hundred years we also believed in the theories of Freud who was a stupendous fraud.
Q: But for thousands of years there has been an acceptance of the belief in evolution.
A: Now things are changing so fast that we are not able to keep pace with them. We have tremendous systems of communication now. Whatever is happening here is happening everywhere. They are able to see what is happening here and what is happening in Bangladesh. Now the time factor has been reduced to a minimum through the help of modern communication techniques.
Q: But that is not evolution; that is just....
A: No, it is not evolution. It is a trial-and-error process. You are perfecting the same thing. Yesterday, I watched this interesting program, the "50th Anniversary of Television". I watched some of those TV shows in those days, in the early '50s. Compared to what we see today they look so archaic and crude.
Q: How would you want the human species to be if you can....
A: I am not chosen as the guardian spirit or....
Q: I know you are not, but if you could have it the way you would like it, would you....?
A: I like it exactly the way it is. You don't have to do a thing about it. I am not in conflict with this, you see. It cannot be any better. Anything you want to do with this is what creates confusion. So there is violence. As long as you use thought to bring about a change without, there is bound to be violence. It is bound to be so. Your attempt to create a peaceful state is creating war there.
Q: I forgot....(Laughs)
A: Who has given anyone the mandate to change the world?
Q: So you say we are as a species headed towards destruction. Is there a possibility of emerging out of this....?
A: I am not a prophet. But the future is already here.
Q: In what way?
A: In the present. How can it be any different? As I said, through war you cannot create peace in this world.
Q: I wouldn't think so.
A: So, probably we will come to a point where we will be forced by circumstances to live with our adversaries. The way the living organism is functioning -- the survival of every cell depends upon the survival of the cell next to it. There is the terror that if I try to destroy something, then, I will also go with it. I mean that physically you are going to be destroyed. It will affect you. This terror that if you try to destroy people around you, you are also going to be destroyed with them, may keep us together for a little while now. Certainly it is not love, bliss, worship, or religious thinking. But tell me, why should we be permanent? Why, what for?
Q: Well, that is the question. I don't know.
A: Why? Why are we asking this question?
Q: This probably won't be permanent.
A: We are not concerned. We are not doing anything to keep it permanent. Are we? We are destroying everything there in nature ecologically. Ecological problems have been aggravated by us. How do you think what we are doing will help? Anybody who says anything against exhaust fumes and who is himself driving a car should be shot at sight and on sight. He is also contributing. Don't believe that fellow! All the ecologists, don't believe them.
Q: Because they are not interested?
A: They are not interested in it at all.
Q: Is anyone interested in conserving it?
A: Nobody is interested in it.
Q: Not even you?
A: I am the last person to be interested, because I don't want this to be any different.
Q: It is all very bleak, Sir!
A: It is not bleak. How can you say it is bleak? That is the only thing. So real it is. Not at all bleak. You would like to use that word, fancy phrase, and say it is bleak. Look at this this moment. It's wonderful! (Both look at the ocean.) I don't write poetry. The next moment I am looking at you, you are as beautiful as the ocean there. Probably more beautiful. You see, if I am freed from all the ideas that I have of beauty, there is something that is extraordinary there. Nothing needs to be done to change anything. Things are changing in their own ways. Nature is changing -- some volcanic eruptions somewhere and some earthquakes somewhere. Why these things occur we don't know. You know, the seismologists can predict with exact precision that we are going to have an earthquake in a particular place at a particular time.
Q: When an asteroid is going to hit us....
A: Why are we all concerned about all these things? -- "Who created this world?" "Why do we live?" We leave all these things to the metaphysicians and scientists.
Q: Probably we are afraid of death?
A: We are afraid of coming to an end.
Q: Yes, I don't want to come to an end. Are you afraid of coming to an end?
A: There is nothing 'here' to come to an end.
Q: So that is how we may be different.... I am so concerned about it.
A: Don't say "different." Nothing will come to an end except the one that does not want to come to an end. It is interested in preserving itself somehow, in some way, even beyond death. You see, it is not going to succeed. It is not amusing, Madam, it is a fact.
Q: Yes, I understand.
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