U.G.: I can never sit on a platform and talk. It is too artificial. It is a waste of time to sit and discuss things in hypothetical or abstract terms. An angry man does not sit and talk and converse pleasantly about anger; he is too angry. So don't tell me that you are in crisis, that you are angry. Why talk of anger? You live and die in the hope that someday, somehow, you will no longer be angry. You are burdened with hope, and if this life seems hopeless, you invent the next life. There are no lives to come.
Q: Well, it certainly cannot be said that your talking gives hope to anyone. Why do you talk if not to console or instruct?
U.G.: What am I to do? You come, I talk. Do you want me to criticize you, to throw stones? It is useless, for you are affected by nothing, having erected an impenetrable armor around yourself. You feel nothing. Unable to understand your situation, you react through thought, which is your ideas and mentations. Reaction is thought. The pain you are going through there is clearly reflected without having to experience the pain here. Here there is no experience at all. That is all. In this natural state you feel the pain of others, whether you personally know them or not. Recently my eldest son was dying of cancer in a hospital nearby. I was in the area and visited him often. Friends said that I was in intense pain during the whole time, until he died. I cannot do anything. It (pain) is an expression of life. They wanted me to attempt some kind of healing for his cancer. If I touch that tumor it will grow, for I am adding life to it. Cancer is a multiplication of cells, another expression of life, and anything I might do only strengthens it.
Q: So you can appreciate the suffering of others and yet are free of it yourself, is that it?
U.G.: Suffering is an experience, and there is no experience here. You are not one thing, and life another. It is one unitary movement and anything I say about it is misleading, confusing. You are not a "person", not a "thing", not a discrete entity surrounded by "other" things. The unitary movement is not something which you can experience.
Q: But to talk of living without experiencing sounds irrational to our minds.
U.G.: What I am saying conflicts with your logical framework. You are using logic to continue that separative structure, that is all. Your questions are again thoughts and therefore reactive. All thought is reactive. You are desperately protecting this armour, this shield of thought, and are frightened that the movement of life might smash your frontiers. Life is like a river in spate, lashing at the banks, threatening the limits that have been placed around it. Your thought structure and your actual physiological framework are limited, but life itself is not. That is why life in freedom is painful to the body; the tremendous outburst of energy that takes place here is a painful thing to the body, blasting every cell as it goes. You cannot imagine how it is in your wildest dreams. This is why it is misleading no matter how I put it.
Q: The gurus and priests teach us also that there is no separative structure and that that is the source of our problems. How do you differ from them?
U.G.: For you, and them, it is just words. Your belief in a unitary movement of life is just a groundless belief, lacking any certainty. You have cleverly rationalized what the gurus and holy books have taught you. Your beliefs are the result of blind acceptance of authority, all secondhand stuff. You are not separate from your beliefs. When your precious beliefs and illusions come to an end, you come to an end. My talking is nothing more than the response to your pain, which you are expressing through questions, logical arguments, and other mentations.
Q: But surely your sitting here and talking hour after hour indicates that you have a philosophy, a message to give, even if it is poorly understood by your listeners.
U.G.: Not at all. There is nobody here talking, giving advice, feeling pain, or experiencing anything at all. Like a ball thrown against the wall, it bounces back, that is all. My talking is the direct result of your question, I have nothing here of my own, no obvious or hidden agenda, no product to sell, no axe to grind, nothing to prove.
Q: But the body is transient, and we all aspire for some kind of immortality. Naturally we turn to higher philosophy, religion, the spiritual. Surely, if we ...
U.G.: It is the body which is immortal. It only changes its form after clinical death, remaining within the flow of life in new shapes. The body is not concerned with "the afterlife" or any kind of permanency. It struggles to survive and multiply NOW. The fictitious "beyond", created by thought out of fear, is really the demand for more of the same, in modified form. This demand for repetition of the same thing over and over again is the demand for permanence. Such permanence is foreign to the body. Thought's demand for permanence is choking the body and distorting perception. Thought sees itself as not just the protector of its own continuity, but also of the body's continuity. Both are utterly false.
Q: It seems that some sort of radical change must take place, but without the interference of will ...
U.G.: If it occurs through no volition of yours, then that is the end of it. You will have no way of stopping it, of changing the situation at all. You cannot but go through it. It does no good to question reality. Question, rather, your goals, your beliefs, and assumptions. It is from them, not reality, that you must be freed. These pointless questions you are asking will disappear with the automatic abandonment of your goals. They are interdependent. One can't exist without the other.
Q: Such a prospect is just too much. We fear oblivion, utter destruction.
U.G.: If you drown, you drown. You will not sink. But what good are my assurances to you? Worthless, I'm afraid. You will continue doing what you are doing; its meaninglessness does not even occur to you. I tell you, when you stop doing things out of hope and the desire for continuity, all you do along with it stops. You will stay afloat. But still the hope remains there; "There must be SOME way, perhaps I am not doing it the right way." In other words, we have to accept the absurdity of depending upon ANYTHING. We must face our helplessness.
Q: We just cannot help feeling that there must be some solution for our problems.
U.G.: Your problems continue because of the false solutions you have invented. If the answers are not there, the questions cannot be there. They are interdependent; your problems and solutions go together. Because you want to use certain answers to end your problems, those problems continue. The numerous solutions offered by all these holy people, the psychologists, the politicians, are not really solutions at all. That is obvious. If there were legitimate answers, there would be no problems. They can only exhort you to try harder, practice more meditations, cultivate humility, stand on your head, and more and more of the same. That is all they can do. The teacher, guru, or leader who offers solutions is also false, along with his so-called answers. He is not doing any honest work, only selling a cheap, shoddy commodity in the marketplace. If you brushed aside your hope, fear, and naïveté‚ and treated these fellows like businessmen, you would see that they do not deliver the goods, and never will. But you go on and on buying these bogus wares offered up by the experts.
Q: But the whole field is so complicated that it seems necessary for us to rely on those who have studied carefully and devoted their lives to self-realization and wisdom.
U.G.: All their philosophies cannot compare to the native wisdom of the body itself. What they are calling mental activity, spiritual activity, emotional activity, and feelings are really all one unitary process. This body is highly intelligent and does not need these scientific or theological teachings to survive and procreate. Take away all your fancies about life, death, and freedom, and the body remains unscathed, functioning harmoniously. It does not need your or my help. You don't have to do a thing. You will never again ask stupid, idiotic questions about immortality, afterlives, or death. The body is immortal.
Q: You have mercilessly cut off every possibility of rehabilitation, obliterating even the faint hope of escaping this unhappiness. There seems to be nothing left but self-destruction. Why not suicide?
U.G.: If you commit suicide, it does not help the situation in any way. The moment after suicide the body begins to decay, returning back to other, differently organized forms of life, putting an end to nothing. Life has no beginning and no end. A dead and dying body feeds the hungry ants there in the grave, and rotting corpses give off soil-enriching chemicals, which in turn nourish other life forms. You cannot put an end to your life, it is impossible. The body is immortal and never asks silly questions like, "Is there immortality?" It knows that it will come to an end in that particular form, only to continue on in others. Questions about life after death are always asked out of fear.
Those leaders who would direct your "spiritual life" cannot be honest about these things, for they make a living out of fear, speculations about future life, and the "mystery" of death.
And as for you, the followers, you are not really interested in the future of man, only your own petty little destinies. It is just a ritual you go through, talking for hours and hours about mankind, compassion, and the rest. It is YOU that you are interested in, otherwise there would not be this childish interest in your future lives, and your imminent demise.
Q: But for many of us life is a sacred thing. We struggle to protect our children, the environment, to avert another war ....
U.G.: You are all neurotic people. You talk against birth control, drone on and on about the preciousness of life, then bomb and massacre. It is too absurd. You are concerned with an unborn life while you are killing thousands and thousands of people by bombing, starvation, poverty and terrorism. Your "concern" about life is only to make a political issue out of it. It is just an academic discussion. I am not interested in that.
Q: Yes, but many of us see all this and nevertheless are interested in changing things. It is not just egoism on our parts.
U.G.: Are you really interested? Are you interested in the future of mankind? Your expressions of anger, righteousness, and caring have no meaning to me. It is just a ritual. You sit and talk, that's all. You are not at all angry. If you were angry at this moment, you would not ask this question, even to yourself. You sit everlastingly talking of anger. The angry wouldn't talk about it. The body has already acted with regard to that anger by absorbing it. The anger is burnt, finished then and there. You don't do anything; the body just absorbs it. That is all. If all this is too much for you, if it depresses you, don't ever go to the holy men. Take pills, do anything, but don't expect the holy business to help you. It is a waste of time.
Q: You make me want to just drop the whole thing, to renounce ...
U.G.: As long as you think you have something to renounce, you are lost. Not to think of money and the necessities of life is an illness. It is a perversion to deny yourself the basic needs of life. You think that through a self-imposed asceticism you will increase your awareness and then be able to use that awareness to be happy. No chance. You will be peaceful when all your ideas about awareness are dropped and you begin to function like a computer. You must be a machine, function automatically in this world, never questioning your actions before, during, or after they occur.
Q: Are you denying the importance of yogic practices, religious renunciation, or the value of a moral upbringing? Man is more than a machine, surely.
U.G.: All moral, spiritual, ethical values are false. The psychologists, searching for a pragmatic way out, are now at the end of their tethers, even turning to the spiritual people for answers. They are lost, and yet the answers must come from them, not from the encrusted, useless traditions of the holy business.
Q: This makes us all so helpless. No wonder people have relied upon messiahs, mahatmas and prophets.
U.G.: The so-called messiahs have left nothing but misery in this world. If a modern messiah came before you, he would be unable to help you at all. And if he can't help, no one can.
Q: If an anointed person, a savior or sage for example, can't be of help, then perhaps it is as the scriptures say, we must "know the truth and the truth shall make us free."
U.G.: Truth is a movement. You can't capture it, contain it, give expression to it, or use it to advance your interests. The moment you capture it, it ceases to be the truth. What is the truth for me is something that cannot, under any circumstances, be communicated to you. The certainty here cannot be transmitted to another. For this reason the whole guru business is absolute nonsense. This has always been the case, not just now. Your self-denial is to enrich the priests. You deny yourself your basic needs while that man travels in a Rolls Royce car, eating like a king, and being treated like a potentate. He, and the others in the holy business, thrive on the stupidity and credulity of others. The politicians, similarly, thrive on the gullibility of man. It is the same everywhere.
Q: Your emphasis is always on the negative side, the classic "neti neti" approach. Are you not pointing out the necessity of dropping all excess baggage, including the scriptures, gurus, and authorities, if one is to find that state you indicate is our natural birthright?
U.G.: No. Doing away with the gurus, temples, and holy books as a prescription for freedom is ridiculous. You search for answers only as remedies for your problems, to avoid pain. Everything that is born is painful. There is no use asking why it is so. It is so. You think that by renouncing gurus and authorities you will suffer some divine endurance; endurance of pain is not going to help you spiritually. There is no way.
Q: But we know you to be more than a fatalist, a cynic. You are pointing out a different destiny for man, not just critiquing his present predicament, are you not?
U.G.: There is a solution for your problems--death. That freedom you are interested in can come about only at the point of death. Everybody attains moksha eventually, for moksha always foreshadows death, and everyone dies.
Q: But I infer you do not mean death in any poetic or fanciful sense. It is not psychological, romantic, or abstract death you are describing, but real, actual, physical death, is it not?
U.G.: Yes, that is it. When you die the body is in a prostrate position, it stops functioning, and that is the end of it. But in this case the body somehow renewed itself. It happens daily as a matter of course now; the whole process took years to stabilize. For me life and death are one, not two separate things. Just let me warn you that if what you are aiming at -- moksha -- really happens, you will die. There will be a physical death, because there has to be a physical death to be in that state. It is like playing around with controlling your breath because you find it amusing. But if you hold the breath long enough, you choke to death.
Q: So we must become aware of death, making it an object of our meditations, and treating it in such a romantic, mystical way. Is that it?
U.G.: To describe that state as a meditative state full of awareness is romantic hogwash. Awareness! What a fantastic gimmick used to fool themselves and others. You can't be aware of every step, you only become self-conscious and awkward if you do. I once knew a man who was a harbor pilot. He had been reading about "passive awareness" and attempted to put it into practice. He, for the first time, nearly wrecked the ship he was guiding. Walking is automatic, and if you try to be aware of every step, you will go crazy. So don't invent meditative steps. Things are bad enough. The meditative state is worse.
Q: But you can't just brush aside ... everything you hold sacred?
U.G.: Of course I can; it is all just romantic stuff. Any remedy I offered you would become part of your search; that is, more romantic stuff. That is why I never tire of saying that I have no wares to sell, much less offer you new and better methods whereby you can continue your search. I deny the validity of that search entirely. You will get nothing here. Try your luck elsewhere.
Q: But surely you are human and want to be of service to mankind, even if only out of pity?
U.G.: Who elected me the redeemer? You have numerous saints, prophets and saviors who wish to serve you. Why add one more? Jesus said, "Knock and it shall open. Come all ye unto me." For some reason I am not able to do it. We have covered a lot of ground. Perhaps it is better if we continue this conversation tomorrow.
Q: Until tomorrow then.
U.G.: Thank you.
Q: From what you said yesterday, it seems obvious that one must be perfectly sane to do what you have done, that is, die. When we left off yesterday you were saying that one has to actually die if one is to discover freedom or moksha. A radical step such as this cannot be taken by a romantic, neurotic person. It is the act of a person free from self-absorption, neurotic episodes, and self-pity. Is there any way to teach this? Can people be educated to be sane?
U.G.: I don't believe in education. You can teach a technique -- mathematics, auto mechanics, but not integrity. How can you teach them about non-greed and non-ambition in an insanely greedy and ambitious society? You will only succeed in making them more neurotic.
Look; you are a cheat. Your religious ambitions are just like the businessman's there. If you can't cheat there is something wrong. How do you think the rich man there got his great wealth? Through lectures about non-greed and selflessness? Not at all. He got it by cheating somebody. Society, which is immoral to begin with, says that cheating is immoral, and that non-cheating is moral. I don't see the difference. If you get caught they put you in jail. So your food and shelter are provided for. Why worry? It is the guilt you have that compels you to talk of non-greed while you continue on with your greedy life. Your non-greed is invented by thought to keep you from facing the fact that greed is all that is there. But you are not satisfied with what is so. If there were nothing more than that, what would you do? That is all that is there. You just have to live with it. You can't escape. All thought can do is repeat itself over and over again. That is all it can do. And anything repetitive is senile.
Q: Meditation seems less repetitive, deeper than ordinary thought. Yet it is unsatisfying.
U.G.: If your meditations, sadhanas, methods and techniques meant anything, you wouldn't be here asking these questions. They are all means for you to bring about change. I maintain that there is nothing to change or transform. You accept that there is something to change as an article of faith. You never question the existence of the one who is to be changed. The whole mystique of enlightenment is based upon the idea of transforming yourself. I cannot convey or transmit my certainty that you and all the authorities down through the centuries are false. They and the spiritual goods they peddle are utterly false. Because I cannot communicate this certainty to you it would be useless and artificial for me to get up on a platform and hold forth. I prefer to talk informally; I just talk, "Nice meeting you."
Q: Then why do you talk at all?
U.G.: There is no particular charm in being antisocial. I don't give people what they want. When they realize they will not get what they want here, they invariably go away. As they are leaving for the last time I like to add the rider, "You won't get it anywhere."
When people come to talk they find themselves confronted with silence itself. That is why everybody who comes is automatically silent thereafter. If he cannot stand the silence and insists upon talking and discussing things, he will be forced to disagree and walk out. But if you stay long, you will be silenced, not because it is over-persuasive, more rational than you are, but because it is silence itself silencing that movement there.
That silence burns everything here. All experiences are burnt. That is why talking to people doesn't exhaust me. It is energy to me. That is why I can talk for the whole day without showing any fatigue. Talking with so many people over the years has had no impact upon me. All that I or they have said is burnt here, leaving no trace. This is not, unfortunately, the case with you.
Q: How does intelligence fit into all this? You seem to indicate that there is a native intelligence that has nothing to do with the accumulation of knowledge and technique.
U.G.: Accepting the limitations is intelligence. You are trying to free yourself from these natural limitations and that is the cause of your sorrow and pain. Your actions are such that one action limits the next action. Your action at this moment is limiting the next action. This action is a reaction. the question of freedom of action does not even arise. Therefore no fatalistic philosophy is needed. The word "karma" means an action without a reaction. Any action of yours limits the action that is to take place next.
Any action that takes place at the conscious level of your thinking existence is a reaction. Pure, spontaneous action free of all previous actions is meaningless. The one and only action is the response of this living organism to the stimuli around it. That stimulus-response process is a unitary phenomenon. There is no division between action and reaction except when thought interferes and artificially separates them. Otherwise it is an automatic, unitary process, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. There is no need to stop it.
Just as in reality there is no separation of action and reaction, so there is no room for the religious man in the natural scheme of things. The fresh movement of life threatens his source of power and prestige. Still, he does not want to retire. He must be thrown out. Religion is not a contractual arrangement, either public or private. It has nothing to do with the social structure or its management. Religious authority wants to continue its hold on the people, but religion is entirely an individual affair. The saints and saviors have only succeeded in setting you adrift in life with pain and misery and the restless feeling that there must be something more meaningful or interesting to do with one's life.
Existence is all that is important, not how to live. We have created the "how" to live, which in turn has created this dilemma for us. Your thinking has created problems--what to eat, wear, how to behave--the body doesn't care. I am simply pointing out the absurdity of this conversation. Once you get the hang of it, you just go. I have no message to give mankind.
We have set in motion irreversible forces. We have polluted the sky, the waters, everything. Nature's laws know no reward, only punishment. The reward is only that you are in harmony with nature. The whole problem started when man decided that the whole universe was created for his exclusive enjoyment. We have superimposed the notion of evolution and progress over nature. Our mind--and there are no individual minds, only mind--which is the accumulation of the totality of man's knowledge and experience, has created the notion of the psyche and evolution. Only technology progresses, while we as a race are moving closer to complete and total destruction of ourselves and the world. Everything in man's consciousness is pushing the whole world, which nature has so laboriously created, towards destruction. There has been no qualitative change in man's thinking; we feel about our neighbors just as the frightened cave man felt towards his. The only thing that has changed is our ability to destroy our neighbor and his property.
Violence is an integral part of the evolutionary process. That violence is essential for the survival of the living organism. You can't condemn the hydrogen bomb, for it is an extension of the policeman there and your desire to be protected. Where do you draw the line? You can't. We have no way of reversing the whole thing.
Q: Humanitarians insist that man has a capacity for love, and that love may be the only solution to mutual destruction. Is there anything to this?
U.G. Love and hate are exactly the same. They have together resulted in massacre, murder, assassination, and wars. This is a matter of history, not my opinion. Buddhism has resulted in horrors in Japan. It is the same thing everywhere. All our political systems have come out of that religious thinking, whether of the East or of the West. In the light of these facts, how can you have any faith in religion? What is the good of reviving the whole past, the useless past? It is because your living has no meaning to you that you dwell on the past. You are not even drifting. You have no direction at all; you are just floating. Obviously there is no purpose to your life, otherwise you would not live in the past.
What has not helped you cannot help anybody. No matter what I am saying, you are the medium of expression. You have already captured what I am saying and making of it a new ism, ideology, and means to attain something. What I am trying to say is that you must discover something for yourself. But do not be misled into thinking that what you find will be of use to society, that it can be used to change the world. You are finished with society, that is all.
Q: That thing that has to be discovered each by himself is God or enlightenment, is it not?
U.G.: No. God is the ultimate pleasure, uninterrupted happiness. No such thing exists. Your wanting something that does not exist is the root of your problem. Transformation, moksha, liberation, and all that stuff are just variations on the same theme: permanent happiness. The body cannot take that. The pleasure of sex, for instance, is by nature temporary. The body can't take uninterrupted pleasure for long, it would be destroyed. Wanting to impose a fictitious, permanent state of happiness on the body is a serious neurological problem.
Q: But the religions warn against pleasure-seeking. Through prayer, meditation, and various practices one is encouraged to transcend mere pleasure ...
U.G.: They sell you spiritual pathedrins, spiritual morphine. You take that drug and go to sleep. Now the scientists have perfected pleasure drugs, it is much easier to take. It never strikes you that the enlightenment and God you are after is just the ultimate pleasure, a pleasure moreover, which you have invented to be free from the painful state you are always in. Your painful, neurotic state is caused by wanting two contradictory things at the same time.
Q: But somehow you are free of all these contradictions, and, although you claim not to be in any sort of perpetual bliss, you seem to be fundamentally happy. How come your life took this course and not others?
U.G.: If I narrate the story of my life, it is as if I am describing somebody else's life. There is no attachment, sentiment, or emotional content for me when I consider my life. You get the wrong impression if you think I harbor any private, precious thoughts or feelings regarding my past.
For the first time, a man has broken away from the religious background (referring to Jiddu Krishnamurti--ed.), and already his teachings are outmoded, outdated, and misleading. J.K. has chosen the psychological form of explanation, which is already passé. You cannot destroy J.K., but the framework of thought he has created is already outdated and useless. The problem is not psychological, but physiological. This body has not fundamentally changed for hundreds of thousands of years. Its propensity to follow leaders, to avoid solitude, to wage war, to join groups--all such traits are in the genetic make-up of mankind, part of his biological inheritance.
Q: Leaving aside the question of whether evil or good is possible for an organism that is already genetically programmed to be brutal and warlike, do not the religious practices--meditation, yoga, humility, etc.--attempt to help man go beyond these biological limitations?
U.G.: Meditation is itself an evil. That is why all the evil thoughts swell up when you try to meditate. Otherwise you have no reference point, no way of knowing if the thoughts are good or evil thoughts. Meditation is a battle, but you only experience more pain. I can assure you that not only is the goal of meditation and moksha put into you by our culture, but that ultimately you will get nothing but pain. You may experience some petty little mystical experiences, which are of no value to you or anyone.
Q: But we are not interested in any such petty experiences, we want freedom ...
U.G.: What is the difference whether or not you find this freedom, this enlightenment or not. You will not be there to benefit from it. What possible good can this state do you? This state takes away EVERYTHING you have. That is why they call it "jivanmukti" -- living in liberation. While living, the body has died. Somehow the body, having gone through death, is kept alive. It is neither happiness nor unhappiness. There is no such thing as happiness. This you do not, cannot, want. What you want is everything, here you lose everything. You want everything, and that is not possible. The religions have promised you so much--roses, gardens--and you end up with only thorns.
Q: But other teachers, like J. Krishnamurti, describe a journey of discovery, that through awareness and free inquiry one can find out ...
U.G.: There is no transformation, radical or otherwise. That buffoon (referring to J.K.) talking in the circus tent there offers you a journey of discovery. It is a bogus charter flight. There is no such journey. The Vedic stuff is no more helpful. It was invented by some acid-heads after drinking some soma juice. J.K. is more neurotic than the people who go to listen to him.
Q: If you put no credence in the ancient religious teachings, then do you take modern psychology any the more seriously?
U.G.: The whole field of psychology has misled the whole thinking of man for a hundred years and more. Freud is the stupendous fraud of the 20th century. J. Krishnamurti talks of a revolution in the psyche. There is no psyche there. Where is this mind which is to be magically transformed? J.K.'s disciples have come to the point where all they can do is to repeat meaningless phrases. They are shallow, empty people. The fact that J.K. can draw large crowds means nothing; snake charmers also draw big crowds. Anybody can draw crowds.
Q: But you are using a similar approach as ...
U.G.: Yes, I am using 80% of his words and phrases, the very phrases he has used over the years to condemn gurus, saints, and saviors like himself. He has it coming. One thing I have never said: he is not a man of character. He has great character, but I am not in the least interested in men of character. If he sees the mess he has created in his false role as world Messiah and dissolves the whole thing, I will be the first to salute him. But he is too old and senile to do it. His followers are appalled that I am giving him a dose of his own medicine. Do not compare what I am saying with what he, or other religious authorities, have said. If you give what I am saying any spiritual overtones, any religious flavor at all, you are missing the point. All this has to be dropped.
Q: But still it seem to us that J. Krishnamurti, and perhaps a few others in history, have something to say. J. Krishnamurti appears to be what he claims he is, a free man.
U.G.: He has something. I am fond of saying that he has SEEN the sugar cube, but has not TASTED the sugar cube. Whether that man, myself, or any other person is free or not is not your problem; it is the shibboleth of escapist minds, an amusement invented to avoid the real issue, which is your unfreedom. You may be sure of one thing; he who says he is a free man is a phoney. Of this you may be sure. The thing you have to be free of is the "freedom" discussed by that man and other teachers. You must be free from "the first and last freedom", and all the freedoms that come in between.
Q: If the notion of a life of grace, peace, and freedom are just fictions invited to escape our universal shallowness, then why proceed at all? If there is no abiding, transcendent reality to which man may turn, then why should we carry on our existence? Is there only eating, sleeping, and breathing?
U.G.: That is all that is there. Go. Look, I am only saying that you must go find out for yourself if there is anything behind these meaningless abstractions being thrown at you. They talk of sacred hearts, universal minds, over-souls, you know, all the abstract, mystical terms used to seduce gullible people. Life has to be described in pure and simple physical and physiological terms. It must be demystified and depsychologized. Don't talk of "higher centers" and chakras. It is not these but glands that control the human body. It is the glands that give the instructions for the functioning of this organism. In your case you have introduced an interloper -- thought. In your natural state thought ceases to control anything; it comes into temporary function when a challenge is put before it, immediately falling into the background when it is no longer needed.
Q: So then no matter what we do, we are functioning in an unnatural way, is that it?
U.G.: That is why I am pointing these things out. Forget about the ideal society and the ideal human being. Just look at the way you are functioning. That is the important thing. What has prevented the organism from fully flowering into its own uniqueness is culture. It has placed the wrong thing--the ideal person--before man. The whole thing is born out of the divisive consciousness of mankind. It has brought us nothing but violence. That is why no two gurus or saviors ever agree. Each is intent upon preaching his own nonsense.
Q: What is it that draws us to hear you? Why are we interested in what you have to say?
U.G.: You come for the same reason you go to anyone for answers: you want to know. you believe that in knowing my story you will be able to duplicate what happened to me. You, having been brainwashed all your life, can only think in terms of imitation. You think that somehow you can repeat what happened to me, that is all. That is your motive for coming. It is not a new approach to that religious stuff. It is completely different. It has absolutely nothing to do with all that romantic, spiritual, religious stuff, nothing. If you translate what I am saying into religious terms, you are missing the point entirely. "Religion", "God", "Soul", "Beatitudes", "moksha", are all just words, ideas used to keep your psychological continuity intact. When these thoughts are not there, what is left is the simple, harmonious physical functioning of the organism. I am able to describe the way this organism is functioning because your question has created the challenge here. Your questions create the conditions necessary for this response to happen. So, it is describing itself, but that is not the way it is functioning. It functions in a state of not knowing. I never ask myself how I am functioning. I never question my actions, before, during, or after they occur. Does a computer ask how it is functioning?
Q: But computers have no feeling, no psyche, no spiritual dimension. How can you compare ...?
U.G.: You can't fit me into that religious framework. Any attempt on your part to translate what I am saying into your religious framework is to miss the point. I am not one of your holy men who say, "I am hanging, so come hang with me." All that stuff is a form of madness.
Q: What's so mad about wanting to find out about life and death ...?
U.G.: Because just as that crazy woman there says she is not mad, you insist upon saying there is death, that you are going to die. Both are false. As far as being states of mind based upon reality, both are equally invalid.
Q: I think I am beginning to understand you intellectually ...
U.G.: Isn't it a joke to tell me that you understand what I am telling you? You say that you at least understand me intellectually, as if there were some other way of understanding. Your intellectual understanding, in which you have a tremendous investment, has not done one damn thing for you so far. You persist in the cultivation of this intellectual understanding, knowing all the while that it has never helped you at all. THIS IS AMAZING. When hoping and attempting to understand is not there, then life becomes meaningful. Life, your existence, has a tremendous living quality about it. All your notions about love, beatitude, infinite bliss, and peace only block this natural energy of existence. How can I make you understand that what I am describing has absolutely nothing to do with all that religious stuff? You see hundreds of bodies carried off in the van after death, and yet you can't possibly imagine your own death. It is impossible, for your own death cannot be experienced by you. It is really something. It is no good throwing all this junk at me. Whatever hits this is immediately burnt--that is the nature of the energy here.
The spiritual people are the most dishonest people. I am emphasizing that foundation upon which the whole of spirituality is built. I am emphasizing that. If there is no spirit, then the whole talk of spirituality is bosh and nonsense. You can't come into your own being until you are free from the whole thing surrounding the concept of "self". To be really on your own, the whole basis of spiritual life, which is erroneous, has to be destroyed. It does not mean that you become fanatical or violent, burning down temples, tearing down the idols, destroying the holy books, like a bunch of drunks. It is not that at all. It is a bonfire inside of you. Everything that mankind has thought and experienced must go. The incredible violence in the world today has been created by the Jesuses and Buddhas.
Q: But surely the attempt to become civilized is an attempt to transcend the laws of the jungle ...
U.G.: It is the ones who believe in God, who preach peace and talk of love, who have created the human jungle. Compared to man's jungle, nature's jungle is simple and sensible! In nature animals don't kill their own kind. That is part of the beauty of nature. In this regard man is worse than the other animals. The so-called "civilized" man kills for ideals and beliefs, while the animals kill only for survival.
Q: Man has strong ideals and beliefs because he seeks truth, which the animals don't.
U.G.: There is no such thing as truth. The only thing that is actually there is your "logically" ascertained premise, which you call "truth".
Q: But, again, all the great teachings have stressed the importance of finding truth through practice, selflessness and renunciation.
U.G.: I renounce the only thing worth renouncing -- the idea that there is renunciation at all. There is nothing to renounce. Your mistaken ideas regarding renunciation only create more fantasies about "truth", "God", etc.
Q: It is not at all flattering to think that we are worse than other animals ...
U.G.: Because man is worse than the animals it made it necessary and possible for him to create the moral dilemma. When man first experienced the division in his consciousness--when he experienced his self-consciousness--he felt superior to other animals, which he is not, and therein sowed the seeds of his own destruction.
Q: So, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that because we have falsely divided life into self and not-self, we have created a moral problem within us and in all our relationships. So our basic difficulty is thinking ...
U.G.: You can't experience anything except through thought. You can't experience your own body except through the help of thought. The sensory perceptions are there. Your thoughts give form and definition to the body, otherwise you have no way of experiencing it. The body does not exist except as a thought. There is one thought. Everything exists in relationship to that one thought. That thought is "me". Anything you experience based on thought is an illusion.
Q: Do not illusions persist only because awareness is not developed in us?
U.G.: The word "awareness" is misleading. Awareness is not a divided state; there are not two states -- awareness and something else. There are not two things. It is not that you are aware of something. Awareness is simply the action of the brain. The idea that you can USE awareness to bring about some happier state of affairs, some sort of transformation, or God knows what, is, for me, absurd. Awareness cannot be used to bring about a change in yourself or the world around you.
All this rubbish about the conscious and the unconscious, awareness, and the self, is all a product of modern psychology. The idea that you can use awareness to get somewhere psychologically is very damaging. After more than a hundred years we seem unable to free ourselves from the psychological rubbish -- Freud and the whole gang. Just what exactly do you mean by consciousness? You are conscious, aware, only through thought. The other animals use thought--the dog, for example, can recognize its owner--in a simple manner. They recognize without using language. Humans have added to the structure of thought, making it much more complex. Thought is not yours or mine; it is our common inheritance. There is no such thing as your mind and my mind. There is only mind -- the totality of all that has been known, felt, and experienced by man, handed down from generation to generation. We are all thinking and functioning in that "thought sphere", just as we all share the same atmosphere for breathing. The thoughts are there to function and communicate in this world sanely and intelligently.
Q: Still, we actually feel that there is a thinker thinking these thoughts, sort of a "ghost in the machine", that thinking involves more than the mechanical response of memory.
U.G.: The knowledge--that is all that is there. The "me", "psyche", "mind", "I", or whatever you want to call it is nothing else than the totality of the inherited knowledge passed on to us from generation to generation, mostly through education. You teach the child to distinguish between colors, to read, to imitate manners. It is relative to each culture: Americans learn American manners, Indians learn Indian manners, etc. Gestures of the body, of hands or of face constituted the first language. Later words were added on. We still use gestures to supplement our spoken words because we feel that words alone are inadequate to fully express what we want to convey.
All this is not to say that we can really know anything about thought. We can't. You become conscious of thought only when you make it an object of thought, otherwise you don't even know you are thinking. We use thought only to understand something out there, to remember something, or to achieve something. Otherwise we don't even know if thought is there or not. Thought is not separate from the movement of thought. Thought is action, and without it you cannot act. There is no such thing as pure, spontaneous, thought-free action at all. To act is to think.
You have a self-starting, self-perpetuating mechanism, which I call the self. This does not mean that there is actually an entity there. I do not want or mean to give that connotation to that word. Where is this ego, or self, that you talk of? Your non-existent self has heard of spirituality and bliss from someone. To experience this thing called bliss you feel you must control your thoughts. It is impossible, you will burn yourself and die if you attempt it.
Q: Philosophers are often heard talking of a "now", independent of past and future. Is there such a thing as an eternal present?
U.G.: The demand for more and more experience constitutes your "present", which is born out of the past. Look. Here is a microphone before you. You are looking at it. Is it possible for you to look at it without the word "Microphone"? The instrument you are using to look at and experience the microphone is the past, your past. If that is seen there is no future at all. Any achievement you are interested in is in the future. The only way that the future can come into operation is in the present moment. Unfortunately, in the present moment what is in operation is the past. Your past is creating your future; in the past you were happy or unhappy, foolish or wise, in the future you will be the opposite. So the future can't be any the different from the past.
When the past is not in operation there is no "present" at all, for what you are calling the "present" is the past repeating itself. In an actual state of "here and now" there is no past in operation and, therefore, no future. I do not know if you are following me.... The only way the past can survive and maintain its continuity is through the constant demand to experience the same thing over and over. That is why life has become a bore. Life has become boring because we have made of it a repetitive thing. So what we mistakenly call the "present" is really the repetitive past projecting a fictitious future. Your goals, your search, your aspirations are cast in that mould.
Q: One problem with understanding the past is its ephemerality. The psyche or mind has to be located somewhere if, as you say, there is no soul and no higher planes. Where, if I can put it that way, is the past?
U.G.: From your knowledge, out of the past, you ask questions, and the very motive of your asking is only to gain more knowledge from someone else, so that your knowledge structure can continue. You are really not interested in this at all. Your knowledge coming to an end means that YOU are coming to an end. Where, you ask, is this knowledge, the past? Is it in your brain? Where is it? It is all over your body. It is in every cell of your body.
These questions all spring from your search. It doesn't matter what the object of that search is -- God, a beautiful woman or man, a new car. It is all the same search. And that hunger will never be satisfied. That hunger must burn itself out completely without knowing satisfaction. The thirst you have must burn itself out without being quenched. It dawns on you that this is not the way, and it is finished.
What I am emphasizing is that we are trying to solve our basic human problems through a psychological framework, when actually the problem is neurological. The body is involved. Take desire. As long as there is a living body, there will be desire. It is natural. Thought has interfered and tried to suppress, control, and moralize about desire, to the detriment of mankind. We are trying to solve the "problem" of desire through thought. It is thinking that has created the problem. You somehow continue to hope and believe that the same instrument can solve your other problems as well. You hope against hope that thought will pull you through, but you will die in hope just as you have lived in hope. That is the refrain of my doom song.
Q: All religions have placed the desire for freedom, heaven, liberation, or God before all others as being worthy of pursuit. But if these ultimate goals do not exist, as you seem to suggest, they are, therefore, inferior desires, being false and hence impossible to satisfy. But this repels us; we insist that some desires, especially those which ostensibly transcend "the flesh", are more divine than others. Would you comment on this?
U.G.: Unless you are free from the desire of all desires, moksha, liberation, or self-realization, you will be miserable. The ultimate goal--which society has placed before us--is the one that has to go. Until you are free from that desire, you cannot be free from any of your miseries. By suppressing these desires, you are not going to be free. This realization is the essential thing, going as it does to the crux of the problem. It is society that has placed the desire for freedom, the desire for liberation, the desire for God, the desire for moksha -- that is the desire you must be free from. Then all these other desires fall into their own natural rhythm. You suppress these desires only because you are afraid society will punish you if you act on them, or because you see them as "obstacles" to your main desire -- freedom.
If this kind of thing should happen to you, you will find yourself back in a primeval state without primitivity, and without any volition on your part. It just happens. Such a free man is not in conflict with society any more. He is not antisocial, not at war with the world; he sees that it can't be any the different. He doesn't want to change society at all; the demand for change has ceased. Any doing in any direction is violence. Any effort is violence. Anything you do with thought to create a peaceful state of mind is using force, and so, is violent. Such an approach is absurd. You are trying to enforce peace through violence. Yoga, meditations, prayers, mantras, are all violent techniques. The living organism is very peaceful; you don't have to do a thing. The peacefully functioning body doesn't care one hoot for your ecstasies, beatitudes, or blissful states.
Man has abandoned the natural intelligence of the body. That is why I say--it is my "doom song"--that the day man experienced that consciousness that made him feel separate and superior to the other animals, at that moment he began sowing the seeds of his own destruction. This warped view of life is slowly pushing the entire thinking towards total annihilation. There is nothing you can do to halt it.
I am not an alarmist. I am not frightened, I am not interested in saving the world. Mankind is doomed anyway.
All I am saying is that the peace you are seeking is already inside you, in the harmonious functioning of the body.
Q: It sounds more and more like the joke about the Buddha saying, "Don't just do something, stand there." Not making movement in any direction at any level is not so easy.
U.G.: Anything you do to free yourself from anything for whatever reason is destroying the sensitivity, clarity, and freedom that is already there.
Q: If it were possible to see things as they really are ...
U.G.: There is no question of your seeing things as they are. You can't see things as they are. You never leave any experience or feeling you have alone. You have to capture and interpret that feeling within the framework of the known. You are happy or unhappy only as you have knowledge about and experience of happiness and unhappiness. So everything has to be brought within the framework of the known before you can experience it. The movement of the known is gathering momentum within you. Its only interest is to continue. There is no entity, no self there to give itself continuity; it is just the movement of thought, the self-perpetuating separation. It is mechanical. Anything you try to do about it only adds momentum to it.
Q: Eastern teachers have said that desire is an evil, that it must be transcended ...
U.G.: It is the desire to reach a particular goal, an all important goal, that must go, not the countless petty little desires. The only reason you try to manipulate or control the petty desires is that such control is a part of your strategy to attain the highest goal, the desire of all desires. Eliminate that main goal and the others fall into a natural pattern and pose no problem for you or for the world. You won't get anywhere by trying to endlessly control and manipulate these numerous desires. It is vicious in its nature.
Q: Is there any higher goal at all?
U.G.: The so-called "highest goal" is like the horizon. The further you move towards it, the further it recedes. The goal, like the horizon, is not really there. It is a projection of your own fear and it moves away from you as you pursue it. How can you keep up with it? There is nothing that you can do. Still, it is desire that keeps you moving; no matter in which direction you move, it is the same.
Q: You say that I am living in illusion. But poverty, work, war, they are not illusions. Are they? In what sense am I being deluded?
U.G.: What you experience through your separative consciousness is an illusion. You can't say that falling bombs are an illusion. It is not an illusion, only your experience of it is an illusion. The reality of the world that you are experiencing now is an illusion. That is all I am trying to say.
Q: If you say that my relative, subjective world view is biased and therefore illusory, I am prepared to agree with you. But you also deny any outside, objective measure of absolute reality, do you not?
U.G.: There is no such thing as absolute. It is thought, and thought alone, that has created the absolute. Absolute zero, absolute power, absolute perfection, these have been invented by the holy men and "experts". They kidded themselves and others.
Down the centuries the saints, saviors, and prophets of mankind have kidded themselves and everybody else. Perfection and absolutes are false. You are trying to imitate and relate your behavior according to these absolutes, and it is falsifying you. You are actually functioning in an entirely different way; you are brutal, you feel you must be peaceful. It is contradictory, that's all I'm pointing out.
Q: We wonder at your eagerness to deny all the religious and philosophical authorities ...
U.G.: The certainty that dawned upon me is something which cannot be transmitted. It does not mean that I am superior, a chosen one, one in whom all the virtues are rolled into one. Not at all. I am just an ordinary man and have nothing to do with it. This certainly blasts everything, including the claims of the so-called enlightened ones selling things in the marketplace.
Q: If the holy men and saviors have been wrong about man's proper place in the scheme of things, surely they have been at least partially right in pointing towards a higher unity, God, if you will.
U.G.: What I am trying to put across is that there is no such thing as God. It is the mind that has created God out of fear. Fear is passed on from generation to generation. What is there is fear, not God. If you are lucky enough to be free from fear, then there is no God. There is no ultimate reality, no God -- nothing. Fear itself is the problem, not "God". Wanting to be free from fear is itself fear.
You see, you love fear. The ending of fear is death, and you don't want THAT to happen. I am not talking of wiping out the phobias of the body. They are necessary for survival. The death of fear is the only death.
Q: Until we somehow find the courage to die to our fears we continue to ...
U.G.: ... hope, pray, practice virtues. The man who practices virtue is a man of vice. Only such a man, a man of vice, would practice virtue. There is not a virtuous man in the world. All men will be virtuous TOMORROW, until then they remain men of vice. Your virtue only exists in the fictitious future. Where is this virtue you are talking of? It is no good hoping to be virtuous in a future life either; there is no guarantee that there is any future life, much less that you will be free in it.
Q: I think I am beginning to see what ...
U.G.: You are blind. You see nothing. When you actually do see and perceive for the first time that there is no self to realize, no psyche to purify, no soul to liberate, it will come as a tremendous shock to that instrument. You have invested everything in that--the soul, mind, psyche, whatever you wish to call it--and suddenly it is exploded as a myth. It is difficult for you to look at reality, at your actual situation. One look does the trick; you are finished.
Q: It is radical, and perhaps a little dangerous, to call the spirit, the soul, and God the shoddy inventions of frightened minds, is it not?
U.G.: I don't care. I am ready to go. I don't see anything other than the physical activity of the body. Spirituality is the invention of the mind, and the MIND IS A MYTH.
Your traditions are choking you. But, unfortunately, you don't do anything. You actually love being choked. You love the burden of the cultural garbage-sack, the dead refuse of the past. It has to drop away naturally. It just drops. You don't depend upon knowledge anymore, except as a useful tool to function sanely in this world.
Wanting has to go. Wanting to be free from something that is not there is what you call "sorrow". Wanting to be free from sorrow is sorrow. There is no other sorrow. You don't want to be free from sorrow. You just think about sorrow, without acting. Your thinking endlessly about being free from sorrow is only more material for sorrow. It (thinking) does not put an end to sorrow. Sorrow is there for you as long as you think. There is actually no sorrow there to be free from. Thinking about and struggling against "sorrow" is sorrow. Since you can't stop thinking, and thinking is sorrow, you will always suffer. There is no way out, no escape ...