Q: What do you mean by saying, "You are the medium through which I can express myself."
UG: Yes. You are the medium through which I can express myself. There is no other way. I don't even have the impetus to express myself. You may very well ask me, "Why the hell do you talk? Why the hell do you meet people?" It is you who have brought all these people. [Laughter] Why do you ask me questions? That is one of the reasons why I have always avoided publicity of any kind. I don't want to promote myself, nor am I allowing others to promote me.
Q: You have no need to express yourself at all?
UG: Not at all. Not even the impetus to talk. I don't have it.
Q: Then you are very talented....
UG: I am not. He comes or she comes or you come. I am like a puppet sitting here. It's not just I; all of us are puppets. Nature is pulling the strings, but we believe that we are acting. If you function that way [as puppets], then the problems are simple. But we have superimposed on that [the idea of] a `person' who is pulling those strings.
Q: What is nature?
UG: All of us are the same. That's what I am saying.
Q: If you are saying that someone is pulling the strings and that we are mere puppets, what is the life force that is called nature?
UG: I understand your problem. The actions of life are outside the field of thought. Life is simply a process of stimulus and response; and stimulus and response are one unitary movement. But it is thought that separates them and says that this is the response and that is the stimulus. Any action that is born out of thinking is destructive in its nature because thought is a self-perpetuating mechanism. Any action that is outside the field of thought is one continuous movement. It is one with the movement of life. It is that flow of things that I am referring to, you see. You don't even have to paddle out of the mainstream on to the banks there. But you are frightened of sinking in it.
Q: We are not frightened.
UG: "We are not...." [Laughter] - What are you saying? Are you sure ?
Q2: There is still a sidestepping of nature. What is that?
UG: Yes. That's it. That is exactly what I am saying. To sidestep the complexities of this society is one of the biggest mistakes that we are making. But there is nothing out there, you see. All these god men, gurus, and the flunkies (the most wicked word to use) are offering us a new oasis. You will find out that it is no different from other mirages. We are leaving everything for some mythical certainty offered to us. But this is the only reality and there is no other reality.
What I am emphasizing is, if your energy is not wasted in pursuit of some mythical certainties offered to us, life becomes very simple. But we end up being wasted, misled and misspent individuals. If that energy is released, what is it that we can't do to survive in the midst of these complexities of the world created by our culture? It is very simple. The attempt to sidestep these complexities is the very thing that is causing us all these problems.
Q: What is that energy? What is nature?
UG: That energy is something which cannot be defined and which cannot be understood. Not that I am mystifying it. The moment the dead thought tries to capture that energy, it [thought] is destroyed. Thought is matter. The moment it is created, it has to be destroyed. But that is the very thing that we resist, you see. Thought is born and is destroyed, and again it is born and again it is destroyed. The only way you can give continuity to thought is through this constant demand to experience everything. This is the only way you try to maintain the continuity of the `experiencing structure'.
One thing that I emphasize all the time is that without knowledge you can't experience anything. What you do not know, you cannot experience. It is the knowledge that creates the experience, and it is the experience that strengthens the knowledge. At every moment of our existence, we have to know what is happening outside of us and what is happening inside of us. That is the only way you can maintain this continuity.
Q: I get the impression that what you are proposing is in a way a revolutionary idea. When you say, "All these flunkies and god men," it's a kind of revolt.
UG: They are giving you false comfort, and that is what people want. What I am saying is not what the mainstream of population is interested in, either here or anywhere else in the world. They hear what they want to hear. What I say is of no interest to them. If you say that God is redundant, it is not a rebellion against anything: you know religious thinking is outdated and outmoded. But I go one step further and say that all political ideologies are nothing but the warty outgrowth of the same religious thinking of man. They may call it a revolution. But revolution is only a revaluation of things. You will only end up creating another value system which may be slightly different from the value system that we want to destroy. But basically they are all the same. That is why when it [the revolution] settles down, it calls for another revolution. Even the talk of continuous revolution of Mao Tse-tung has failed. In the very nature of things, a revolution has to settle down.
Q: Well, each one has his path. The Buddha, Jesus, and other teachers had what they thought was the path towards that consciousness.
UG: I am questioning the very idea of consciousness. There is no such thing as consciousness at all. Consciousness is nothing but knowledge. Don't ask me how knowledge originated. Somewhere along the line knowledge started with you, and then you wanted to know about the things around. That is what I mean by "self-consciousness". You have become conscious of what is going on around you, and so naturally you want to know. What I am suggesting is that the very demand to understand the mystery of existence is destructive. Just leave the mystery alone.
Q: You can say that after searching for a long time, right?
UG: What I am saying is not born out of my keen observation of things around me. It is not born out of logical thinking. It is not a logically ascertained premise.
Q: What was your makeup?
UG: There was this makeup within me from the very beginning of rejecting everything totally. I lived amongst masterminds. They were not ordinary people. I have traveled everywhere, and, as I very often say, I was not born yesterday. I did not come into the town in a turnip truck.
What I am saying is that this is something that you cannot totally reject through any volition or effort of yours. Somehow it happened to me. It is just a happening. It is acausal. The whole thing drained out of my system - the parameters that mankind has evolved, the thoughts, feelings and experiences throughout the ages. All this was thrown out of my system.
Q: But why doesn't it happen to me ?
UG: The potential, the possibility is there, but the probability is zero. It is because you are all the time trying, and that is not letting what is there to express itself. Thought creates an armor all around itself. Any time a crack appears there, you patch it up.
Q: Coming back to what you said earlier about rejecting the whole past - the experiences, thoughts and everything....
UG: It is not something that you can do through any effort, will or volition of yours. It's a miracle. So what I am emphasizing is that whatever has happened to me has happened despite everything I did. In fact, everything I did only blocked it. It prevented the possibility of whatever was there to express itself. Not that I have gained anything. Only what is there is able to express itself without any hindrance, without any constraints or restraints imposed on it by society for its own reasons, for its own continuity and stability.
Q: Shouldn't we have to search first?
UG: The search is inevitable and is an integral part of it. That is why it has turned us all into neurotics and has created this duality for us. You see, ambition is a reality, competition is a reality. But you have superimposed on that reality the idea that you should not be ambitious. It has turned us all into neurotic individuals. We want two things at the same time.
Whether he is here or in America or in Russia or anywhere else, what does man want? He wants happiness without one moment of unhappiness. He wants permanent pleasure without pain. This is the basic demand - permanence. So it is this demand that has created the whole religious thinking - God, Truth or Reality. Since things in life are not permanent, we demand that there must be something permanent. That is why these religious teachers are peddling their wares in the streets. They offer you these comforters: `permanent happiness' or `permanent bliss'. Are they ready to accept the fact that bliss, beatitude, immensity, love, and compassion are also sensual?
Q: You mean there is nothing to what Christ or Buddha said.
UG: Let's leave them alone. Otherwise we will all be in trouble.
Q: Well I want to know....
UG: They are all false as far as I am concerned. This certainty that I have is something that I cannot transmit to you. It does not mean that I will go and burn all the churches, temples, or bury all the Vedas etc. - that's all too silly -, or that I will become a terrorist and mindlessly kill everyone. It's neither `Love thy neighbor as thyself', nor the spiritual values, nor the human value system that can protect us from now on, but the terror that your very existence is at stake. You cannot survive unless the one that is next to you also survives. It's not cooperation on the basis of love and brotherhood, but it's the way this human body is functioning, the way that animals are functioning that can protect you. Animals do not kill their fellow beings (they are also beings, you see) for an ideology or for God.
You are not decent and decorous enough to admit that all your spiritual experiences - bliss, beatitude or love - are also sensual activities. Any activity of thought, whether it is called spiritual or sensual, is also a sensual activity. That's all that you are interested in. Your being in a blissful mood is a high, the do-gooder's high. You become a boy scout and take the lady across the road so that you can get some brownies. This is the do-gooder's high that they talk about. Jogging also gives you a high. Let's admit it.
Q: But is that high necessary for someone?
UG: It is necessary for the survival of the experiencing structure, and not for this body. The body is rejecting all that. It doesn't want any of those things.
Q: The experiencing structure is separate?
UG: Yes, that is separate and outside of us. You are trying to make everything part of the thought-sphere.
Q: You say that there is no individual.
UG: Where is the individual?
Q: Well, I feel I am one.
UG: You are not an individual. You are doing exactly the same thing that everybody is doing.
Q: But still I feel that I am an individual.
UG: Your feeling it does not mean anything. The individual you are talking about is created by your culture. You are creating that non-existing individual there.
Q: Am I not separate from this body and that body?
UG: No not at all.
Q: How are we connected?
UG: If you accept what I am talking about, it's a very dangerous situation. Your wife goes, you see.
Q: No relationship...?
UG: No relationship. Sorry....
Q: I don't want it.
UG: You don't want it? "How can you ask for this?" is all that I am saying. You are only trying to fit me into a framework by calling me an enlightened man. This fellow [U.G. points to his host in Delhi] is telling everyone, "Jesus is living here. Why should I go to the Church?" He is crazy. [Laughter] Don't you think that they [the religious people] have all created a mess for us. They laid the foundation for the destruction.
Q: Well, you are destroying them....
UG: I am not destroying anything.
Q: Let me just complete my part.
UG: All right.
Q: The Buddha said, "Go through this kind of thing." So did Jesus, to reach whatever - enlightenment or Moksha....
UG: But you have not arrived anywhere. Even the claimants have not arrived anywhere.
Q: From what I understand, you don't have to reach for answers, because all the answers are really coming from the answers that you already have.
UG: But is there any way you can free yourself from that activity?
Q: Isn't it in a way a part or expression of that state?
UG: There is no other way I can point out the danger that is involved in your seeking whatever you are seeking. You see, there is this pleasure movement. I am not against the pleasure movement. I am neither preaching hedonism nor advocating any `-ism' or anything. What I am saying is a threat to `you' as you know yourself and experience yourself. You necessarily have to fit me into that framework [of the Buddha, Jesus, and others], and if you don't succeed, you will say, "How can he be outside of it?" The way out for you is either to reject me totally, or to call me a fraud or a fake. You see, the feeling, "How can all of them be wrong?" prevents you from listening to me. Or else you put it another way and say that the content of whatever has happened to U.G. and to them is the same, but his expression is different.
Q: Taking this a little further, I feel whatever is right to you in terms of an awareness level need not be right to me. You may not be interested in me....
UG: I am not concerned about you at all. You can stay in hell, rot in hell, do what you like. I am not here to save you. I don't mean you personally.
Q: Yes, I understand.
UG: What I am saying has no social content. I have opinions on everything in this world. You have your opinions, and I can also express opinions and judgments on everything. But my opinions and judgments are no more important than the opinions and judgments of your mother or that taxi driver there. Because you are an I.A.S. officer, do you think that your opinions are more valid? I was lecturing on the essential unity of all religions everywhere around the globe. [Laughter]
Q: But what you have discovered....
UG: I haven't discovered anything. That's what's strange.
Q: What was it you wanted, Sir?
UG: I wanted moksha, what the Buddha had. Just the way you think about what I have or what Jesus Christ had.
Q: You mean a continuous state of happiness. [Laughter]
UG: You see, U.G. is created by the Buddha, Frank is created by Jesus. You don't understand that, do you? You don't want this [U.G.] to go [out of your system], and that is the reason why you keep that [the Buddha, Christ, etc.] and perpetuate it. Both are the same. Culture has created the individual for the sole purpose of maintaining its continuity. Every time you condemn anger, that strengthens and fortifies the movement of your culture and your value system. Every time you praise the Lord, you are maintaining and perpetuating that self. Culture has created you and me for the sole purpose of maintaining its status quo. You don't want a change. You have invented something that is there today, and it will continue to be there after you are gone.
Q: Why do they pass on that misery to us?
UG: Why are you passing on this misery to your little girl there? . . . .
Q: You have spoken of some chakras in your book, Sir.
UG: Well, some people were asking me some questions and I happened to answer them. That is why I call it a mistake. [Laughter] [Reference to U.G.'s book entitled Mystique of Enlightenment.] Many people want to fit me into traditional descriptions of things like yoga, this, and that.
What happens is that the servant has taken possession of the running of the house in trying to influence everything there. Somehow, through some miracle he is forced to leave. When the servant leaves, he wants to adopt a scorched-earth policy. He wants to burn everything there. You want him to go but he won't go. He has become the master. So this [your thought] is moving at a particular rhythm, at a particular tempo and speed. Suddenly when it stops, through no volition of yours, through no effort of yours, it blows up the whole thing here. That's all that has happened to me. From then on it [the organism] falls into a quite natural rhythm and functions in its own way. That is why all those changes take place in the body.
Q: You mean the servants inside have taken over this body?
UG: The servant is outside controlling you.
Q: So, then, where is the blowing up?
UG: No blowing up. Nothing there.
Q: But what is the natural state that you are talking about?
UG: The natural state is the functioning of this living organism. It is not a synonymous term for enlightenment or God-realization or self-realization. What is left here is this pulsating living organism. And the way it is functioning is no different from the mosquito that is sucking your blood.
Q: That itself may be called awareness.
UG: Not awareness. I don't like to use that word. It is not something that can be captured, contained and given expression to through your experiencing structure. It is outside the field of experience. So it cannot be shared with anyone. That's the reason why I am saying that he, you, or it, is the medium through which whatever I am saying is expressing itself. But you are distorting, correlating and garbling it. Thought cannot help doing that.
Q: Trying to determine whether you are showing us a path or whether this path is right or wrong....
UG: No, when there is no path, where is the question of right or wrong?
Q: Maybe, you can't give me the path.
UG: No. If he is making a path out of what I am saying, it is his tragedy. If he takes another path, it is his misery.
. . . .
Q: Let us talk of the big bang theory of the universe.
UG: I question the big bang theory.
Q: But you know that we were all atoms in the beginning.
UG: I am questioning even the fundamental particles. We will never be able to find the fundamental particles.
Q: In your first book you talk of the ionization of thought and an explosion.
UG: From then on, understanding is not through the instrument which we are using all the time to understand - the intellect. We have developed and sharpened the intellect through years. So it [the intellect, in U.G.] understood in its own way that it is not the instrument, that there is no other instrument, and that there is nothing to understand. My problem was how to use this intellect to understand whatever I was looking for. But it didn't help me to understand a thing. So I was searching for some other instrument to understand, that is, intuition, this, that, and the other. But I realized that this is the only instrument I have; and the hope that I would understand something through some other instrument, on some other level, and some other way, disappeared. It dawned on me, "There is nothing to understand." When this happened, it hit me like a shaft of lightning. From then on, the very demand to understand anything was finished. That understanding is the one that is expressing itself now. And it cannot be used as an instrument to understand anything. It cannot be used as an instrument to guide, direct or help me, you or anybody.
Q: Don't you think that it happened only because....
UG: That explosion that occurred is happening all the time. It is all the time exploding. Any attempt on my part to understand anything at any given moment is exploded because that [thought] is the only instrument I have, and there is no other instrument. This instrument cannot invent a thing called hope again anymore. There is no hope of understanding. The moment it [thought] is forming something there, it is exploded, not through any volition, not through any effort, but that's exactly the way it happens. It is continuously happening all the time. That is the way life is moving along. It has no direction.
The body has no need to understand anything. The body does not have to learn anything, because anything you learn, anything you do is attempting to change, alter, shape or mold yourself into something better. This [body] is a perfect piece that has been created by nature. In this assemblage of the species of human beings on this planet one being is endowed with the intelligence of an Einstein, another is endowed with the brawn of a Tyson, and someone else is endowed with the beauty of a Marilyn Monroe. But two or three or all [of these characteristics] in one will be a great tragedy. I can't conceive any possibility of all the three blooming in one individual - brain, brawn, and beauty.
Q: Are you afraid of death?
UG: There is nothing to die here [in U.G.]. The body cannot be afraid of death. The movement that is created by society or culture is what does not want to come to an end. How it came to an end [in U.G.] I really don't know. What you are afraid of is not death. In fact, you don't want to be free from fear.
UG: Because when the fear comes to an end you will drop dead.
UG: That is its nature. It is the fear that makes you believe that you are living and that you will be dead. What we do not want is the fear to come to an end. That is why we have invented all these new minds, new science, new talk, therapies, choiceless awareness and various other gimmicks. Fear is the very thing that you do not want to be free from. What you call `yourself' is fear. The `you' is born out of fear; it lives in fear, functions in fear and dies in fear.
Q: The body is not interested in dying....
UG: When the body encounters a cobra it steps back, and then you take a walk. The cobra is a marvelous creature. If you hurt it you are hurting yourself. I mean it [hurting it] physically hurts you [back], not psychologically or romantically - because it is all one movement of life. What I am saying is that you will never hurt that. The cooperation there springs from the total selfishness of mutual survival. It's like the cell in your body which also can survive only when it cooperates with the cell next to it. Otherwise it has no chance of survival. That's the only way we can live together. But that has to percolate to the level of, if you want to use that word, your `consciousness'. Only then you will live in this world peacefully.
Q: Well, is it [all life] totally interdependent?
UG: It is that total interdependence for survival on the physical level that can bring about unity. Only on that level.
Q: The body and the intellect are separate?
UG: The intellect is created by culture and is acquired. The intelligence that is necessary for survival is already there in the physical organism. You don't have to learn a thing. You need to be taught, you need to learn things only to survive in this world which we have created, the world of ideas. You need to know in order to survive. You have to fight for your share in the cake. Some joker comes along and says that you should fight without expecting any results. What the hell are you talking about? How can you act without expecting any results? As long as you live in this world you have to fight for your share. That is why they teach you, send you to a school, and give you some tools. That is what society has done to you. But religion comes along and tells you that you should fight for your share without expecting anything in return. That is why you are turned into a neurotic individual. Otherwise you will fight only for your share. You don't grab the whole thing. You grab the whole thing because you have been taught by religion, culture or something else to do so. Animals kill only for their survival and leave the rest of their game. You can call it garbage or whatever you want. Every other thing survives on that. If I take only whatever I need for myself, the rest is there for everybody. There won't be any shortage.
Q: Were you with the Theosophical Society and J. Krishnamurti?
UG: I left the society in 1953, and my contact with the Theosophical Society and Krishnamurti ended in 1956. I almost grew up there. I lived in Madras for 21 years, ever since I was fourteen. I was very actively associated with the Theosophical Society as Joint Secretary of the Indian section; I was first a national lecturer and then an international lecturer. It's all ancient history now.
Q: It is difficult to put you in a definite category.
UG: All those who come to see me have this problem of where to fit me. It is easy for them to call me a god man, enlightened man, guru and stick all those fancy labels on me. "That is our difficulty," they say. "We really don't know where to fit you. It is a reflection on our intelligence," they say. Even the philosophers talk of the impossibility of fitting me into a framework. Not that I am feeling superior or proud.
Q: But where will you fit yourself?
UG: I don't know. I won't say I am a misfit. I am part of the mainstream of life everywhere. At the same time I have no roots anywhere. If I may put it that way, I am a rootless man of sorts. I have lived everywhere in the world, and I don't feel at home anywhere. It's very strange. I am one of the most traveled persons in this world. I have been traveling ever since I was fourteen, and since then I have never lived in any place for more than six months at a time. My traveling is not born out of my compulsive need to travel. When people ask me, "Why do you travel?" I answer them, "Why do some birds travel from Siberia to a small bird sanctuary in Mysore State and then go back all the way?" I am like those migratory birds. It's very strange. I have traveled everywhere except in China. I have gone to all the communist countries. And in America I have spent several years. Nowadays I divide my time among Bangalore, Switzerland and the U.S.
Q: If the world can't find a label for you, what kind of label do you find for the world?
UG: I am quite satisfied with the world! [Laughter] Quite satisfied. The world cannot be any different. Traveling destroys many illusions and creates new illusions for us. I have discovered, to my dismay, if I may put it that way, that human nature is exactly the same whether a person is a Russian, or an American or someone from somewhere else. It is as though we all speak the same language, but the accent is different. I will probably speak [English] with an Andhra accent, you with a Kannada accent, and someone else with a French accent. But basically human beings are exactly the same. There is absolutely no difference. I don't see any difference at all. Culture is probably responsible for the differences. We being what we are, the world cannot be any different. As long as there is a demand in you to bring about a change in yourself, you want to bring about a change in the world. Because you can't fit into the framework of culture and its value system, you want to change the world so that you can have a comfortable place in the world.
Q: You say that you are satisfied with the world. Why do you say that?
UG: What makes you think that the world can be any different? Why do you want to change the world? All these utopias, all these ideas of creating a heaven on this earth are born out of the assumption that there is a heaven somewhere there and that we have to create that heaven on this planet. And that's the reason why we have turned this into a hell. You see, I don't call this a hell. I'd like to say it cannot be any different.
Nature has provided us with tremendous wealth on this planet. If what they say is correct, twelve billion people can be fed with the resources that we already have on this planet. If eighty percent of the people are underfed, then there is something wrong - something is wrong because we have cornered at one place all the resources of this world. I don't know, I am not competent enough to say, but they say that eighty percent of this world's resources are consumed by the Americans alone. What is it that is responsible for that?
The problem is this: nature has assembled all these species on this planet. The human species is no more important than any other species on this planet. For some reason, man accorded himself a superior place in this scheme of things. He thinks that he is created for some grander purpose than, if I could give a crude example, the mosquito that is sucking his blood. What is responsible for this is the value system that we have created. And the value system has come out of the religious thinking of man. Man has created religion because it gives him a cover. This demand to fulfill himself, to seek something out there was made imperative because of this self-consciousness in you which occurred somewhere along the line of the evolutionary process. Man separated himself from the totality of nature. The religious thinking of man originated from the idols, gods, and spiritual teachers that we have created. So the whole trend is in the direction of creating a perfect man, whereas....
Q: Without this we feel a kind of insecurity. We need something.
UG: That is why we have invented all this. You might as well take Valium, or use something, and forget about it. That [security] is all that you are interested in. And I don't want to run down the gurus, the god men, and all those flunkies we are flooding the world with.
Q: Even if we do seek, I feel that is also a part of nature.
UG: If that is so, then why are you trying to change it? Why don't you accept it? You see, the problem is the demand to bring about a change.
Q: What is it that distinguishes us from animals? We think we are different, right?
UG: Thinking is responsible, and thinking is born out of this self-consciousness. When I use the word self-consciousness I don't mean all that stuff we find in religious thinking. What I mean is very simple: I mean the feeling that you are different from the tape recorder there, that you are different from that blue door. This is what I mean by separation. That feeling doesn't exist in animals at all. We are made to believe that there is something that you can do, to bring about a change in and around you. The demand for change springs from this self-consciousness, the separation from the singleness of the whole nature around us.
Q: Without that separation....
UG: Don't say, "Without separation"!
Q: Wait a minute, without separating myself from the things around, I feel that I am unable to act.
UG: Yes, that's why I say that any action that is born out of your thinking, or let's say thought, is destructive. It is destroying the peace that is there. The way this living organism is functioning is marvelous. The human organism is a perfect specimen of the creation of nature. Nature is only interested in perfecting the species. But we have superimposed on that the idea of a perfect man, and that idea is the problem. The idea is born out of the assumption that there is a perfect man like all these Buddhas, Jesuses, and others. You are trying to model your life after these great teachers. You want your behavior patterns to be like theirs. But it's just not possible. A `perfect being' does not exist at all. A perfect being is the end product of human culture, that is, the being we think as the perfect being. And you want everybody to be perfect that way. So going back to my point, nature's interest is only to create perfect species. It does not use any model. Every human being is something extraordinary and unique. If a being does not fit into the scheme of things, nature discards it and starts all over again.
Q: But if you look at the animal family, there is a desire in them to change the environment in a set frame. They want to eat more.
UG: They don't eat for pleasure. They eat only for survival. Actually, whatever you project on the animals is born out of your own ideations and mentations. It is born out of your subjectivist approach to the problem, which is also born out of your value system. We want to understand animals or the laws of nature with the idea of "What do I get out of that?". Our desire to know the laws of nature is only to use them for perpetuating something here [in the human being]. So thought is, in its birth, in its content, in its expression, and also in its action, to use a very crude political word, fascist in nature. [Laughs] There is no way you can get away from that. It [thought] is a self-perpetuating mechanism.
Q: What I can make out of what you are saying is that we are operating under a value system, whether it is good or bad. But have you skipped that somewhere?
UG: I have not skipped that. You see, both good and bad, right and wrong, are not the reverse of a coin but are the same coin. They are like the two ends of the spectrum. One cannot exist independent of the other. When once you are finished with this duality, (I am using the word with much caution, although I don't like to use it,) when you are no longer caught up in the dichotomy of right and wrong or good and bad, you can never do anything wrong. As long as you are caught up in it, the danger is that you will always do wrong; and if you don't do wrong, it is because you are a frightened `chicken'. It is out of this cowardice that the whole religious thinking is born.
Q: You were saying in some context that anger is not bad, and that anger cannot do any harm.
UG: Anger is like an outburst of energy. It is like the high tide and the low tide in the sea. The problem is, "What to do with anger?" The question, "What to do with anger?" is something put in there by culture, because society considers an angry man a threat to its status quo, to its continuity.
Q: Does it ?
UG: Yes, of course.
Q: Well, you are not a threat then.
UG: I am not a threat. I am not a threat because I cannot, you see, conceive of the possibility of anything other than this. I am not interested in changing anything. You are the one that is all the time talking of bringing about a change. At the same time everything around you and inside of you is in a flux. It is constantly changing. Everything around you is changing; yet you don't want change. You see, that's the problem. Your unwillingness to change is really the problem, and you call it a tradition. You dub "unwillingness to change with the changing things," a great tradition.
Q: That can happen only if what has happened to you happens to us....
UG: Nothing has happened to me.
Q: You function bodily.
UG: You and I are functioning in exactly the same way; and I am not anything that you are not. You think that I am different from you. You have to take my word: at no time does the thought that I am different from you ever enters my mind. I know for certain that you are functioning in exactly the same way that I am functioning. But you are trying to channel the activity or movement of life both to get something and to maintain that continuity of what is put in there [in you] by culture. That is not the case here [in U.G.].
We think that thoughts are there inside of us. We think that they are self-generated and spontaneous. What is actually there is what I call a thought-sphere. The thought-sphere is the totality of man's experiences, thoughts, and feelings passed on to us from generation to generation. In this context I want to mention that the brain is not a creator, but only a reactor. It is only reacting to stimuli. What you call thought is only the activity of the neurons in the brain. In other words, thought is memory. A stimulus activates the brain through the sensory perceptions and then brings memory into operation. It is nothing marvelous. It is just a computer with a lot of garbage put in there. So it is not a creator. The brain is not interested in solving any of the problems created by us. It is singularly incapable of dealing with the problems created by thought. Thought is outside and it is extraneous to the brain.
Q: What you are saying gives us the impression that nothing is to be changed. But there is this fear that then the brain will become very inactive, die away, or some such thing.
UG: No, no.
Q: But if we can go back a little into this, thought is necessary in some way. I don't know how instincts developed first and where thought picks up....
UG: It is a very superficial division that we make between thought and instinct. Actually there are no instincts in the human being at all. There is no such thing as instinct. That's all invented by your fanciful thinking.
Q: All right, we take it then that the thought process is outside of us.
UG: Thought processes then and even now are outside of you. Self-consciousness or separation [of ourselves] from the world around us occurs, they say, - I am not competent enough to say anything - around the eighteenth month of the child. Until then the child cannot separate itself from whatever is happening there inside and outside of itself. But actually there is no inside and outside at all. What creates the inside and the outside, or what creates the division between the inside and the outside is the movement of thought. Anything that is born out of thought is a self-protecting mechanism.
Q: Why do you think that we have that ?
UG: You want an answer for that? The answer for that is that nature uses the human species to destroy everything that it has created. Everything that is born out of thought, every discovery you have made so far is used for destructive purposes. Every invention of ours, every discovery of ours is pushing us in that direction of total annihilation of the human species.
Q: But why? Why does nature deliberately want to first create and then destroy?
UG: Because really nothing is ever born, and nothing ever dies. What has created the space between creation and destruction, or the time between the two, is thought. In nature there is no death or destruction at all. What occurs is the reshuffling of atoms. If there is a need or necessity to maintain the balance of energy in this universe, death occurs. You may not like it. Earthquakes may be condemned by us. Surely they cause misery to so many thousands and thousands of people. And all this humanitarian activity around the world to send planeloads of supplies is really a commendable act. It helps those who are suffering there and those who have lost their properties. But it is the same kind of activity that is responsible for killing millions and millions of people. What I am saying is that the destructive, war-making movement and the humanitarian movement on the other hand -- both of them are born from the same source.
In the long run, earthquakes and the eruption of volcanoes are part of nature's way of creating something new. Now, you know, something strange is happening in America - the volcanic eruptions. Some unknown forms of life are growing there in that very thing which was destroyed. Of course, I am not saying that you should not do anything in the way of helping those people.
The self-consciousness that occurred in the human species may be a necessary thing. I don't know. I am not claiming that I have a special insight into the workings of nature. Your question can be answered only that way. You see for yourself. That's why I say that the very foundation of the human culture is to kill and to be killed. It has happened so. If one is interested in looking at history right from the beginning, the whole foundation of humanity is built on the idea that those who are not with us are against us. That's what is operating in human thinking. So, to kill and to be killed in the name of God, represented by the church in the West, and all the other religious thinking here in the East, was the order of the day. That's why there is this fundamentalism here in this country now. The Chinese - what horrors they have committed, you will be surprised: they killed scholars and religious people. They burned and buried the books of Confucius and other teachers. Today the political ideologies represented by the state are responsible for the killings of people. And they claim that what they are doing is the result of some great revolution that they had started. Revolution is nothing but the revaluation of our values. It really does not mean anything. After a while it settles down, and that is why they are talking of Glasnost there [in the Soviet Union]. But it does not really mean anything there. Gorbachev is going to create a hundred Punjabs in that country.
Q: When you use the term `nature', what exactly do you mean?
UG: The whole thing that is there. The life-forms around, the assemblage of life around this planet. You are not different from all that.
Q: What is creating that assemblage? You say that there is a purpose.
UG: No, I am not saying that there is a purpose. You are saying that there is a purpose. It may not have any purpose at all. Your question implies that there must be some reason for all this. I am not interested in finding out that reason at all. What I see is what is happening here and now. But you want to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between two events. That is the way logical thinking functions in us. Logic is used by us to win an argument over somebody. That also is a destructive weapon; and when logic fails, there is violence. So to ask the question, "Where have we failed? Why have we taken this wrong turn?" to me has no meaning. But an important question which we have to ask is something else: "Are there any answers? Are there any solutions for our problems?"
Q: We do seem to have a need to search and find something.
UG: The body does not want to learn anything or know anything, because it has that intelligence - native, innate intelligence - that helps it to survive. If this body is in a jungle, it will survive; if it doesn't, it's gone. But it will fight to the last. That's just the way the human body is functioning. If there is some danger to it, the body throws in everything that is available and tries to protect itself. If it cannot, it gives in. But in a way the body has no death. The atoms in it are put together and what happens at death is a reshuffling of the atoms. They will be used somewhere else. So the body has no birth or death, because it has no way of experiencing that it is alive or that it will be dead tomorrow.
Q: I think that's a point. I would like to listen on.
UG: You call this a table, and that you call a dead corpse: but actually there is life there. You see the decomposition that is taking place in the dead body is a form of life. Of course, that's no consolation to the one who has lost his wife. Please don't get me wrong. When death has provided the basis for the continuity of life, how can you call it death? It's a different matter that it is no consolation to me or to the one who has lost his near and dear one. But you can't say that it [the corpse] is dead. Now they are saying that the hair keeps growing, the nails keep growing, and brain waves continue for a long time even after the so called clinical death.
(That is the reason why now they are trying to define death in the courts - there in France and other countries. They find it so difficult to define death. And now in the United States they have gone one step further. They keep the dead bodies in deep freeze so that one day medical science will come up with a cure for the disease that was responsible for the death of that body. Do you know what they will do? They are not going to leave their money to their children. The money will be blocked and it is going to create a tremendous economic stagnation of the movement of money. It's very strange. They call that cryonics. It's gaining ground there in the United States.) Where do you draw the line between life and death? The definition of death is eluding the legal profession; so far they are unable to define what death is. For all practical purposes we have to consider that it's the same as clinical death. But in nature there is no birth and there is no death. Nothing is ever born, and nothing ever dies. So, if that [idea] is applied to the body, which is not separate from the totality of life around, there is neither death nor birth for it.
I am not talking metaphysics. We don't seem to understand the basic fact that we are not able to control these things at all. The more we try the more troubles we are creating.... I may sound very cynical, but a cynic is really a realist. I am not complimenting myself. I am talking of cynics in general. Cynicism will help you to have a healthy look at the way things are going on in the world.
Q: When I said that I wanted to read your book, you said that it was dead. What do you mean?
UG: I now call my book "The Mistake of Enlightenment" instead of its real title, "The Mystique of Enlightenment." It is a mistake I made. I don't have any message to give to the world. Frankly speaking, I really don't know what is there in that or in the second book. What I am saying is valid and true for just this moment. That's why people tell me, "You are contradicting yourself all the time." No, not at all. You see, this statement [I am making now] is contradicted by my next statement, a third statement contradicts the first two statements, a fourth statement contradicts - rather negates than contradicts - the first four, and the fifth one negates the sixth even before it is made! This is done not with the idea of arriving at a positive position; the negation is made for the sake of negation because nothing can be expressed, and you can't say this is the truth. There is no such thing as truth. A logically ascertained premise, yes. You can write a book on `My Search for Truth' or God knows what - `My Experiments with Truth'. Q: But aren't you dealing with certain facts or truths as you experience them? They are true irrespective of the immediate time-frame.
UG: In this particular time frame, all events are independent, and there is no continuity among them.
Each event is an independent frame, but you are linking up all these [frames] and trying to channel
the movement of life in a particular direction for your ulterior motives. But actually you have no way
of controlling the events. They are outside of you. All you can do is establish a relationship with
particular events, or put them all together and create a tremendous structure of thought and
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