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This is a transcript of a workshop with a group who are studying the Science of Man's Conscious Self-Evolution in Houston on July 31, 1999, with a few remarks from a workshop on the same subject in Albuquerque the next week-end. No attempt has been made to modify the grammar -- it is transcribed as it happened -- only names have been removed. Some editing has been done by the speaker to make things clear that were only clear in context at the actual talk.
I was told not to use this word any more by
somebody. They said this is a bad word. But I kind of like it. I'm going to
use it anyway. That word is perfection. This word for some reason or another
has been changed recently, and it doesn't mean what it used to mean. The folks
who talked about perfection, we wouldn't even understand what they were
talking about today; because we know what the word perfect means now, right?
It means, according to the ideal. Isn't that right? That's what the word perfect means. If you say that something is perfect, you say that it matches the ideal.
Well, that isn't what people originally meant by the word. The word originally meant complete. How it got changed into ideal, I don't know exactly. So, in a sense, this idea that people used to talk about, that they called perfection, I suppose today we ought to call completion. And they had a term that they used that they referred to someone who is perfected man.
I remember that in those days they didn't know that they were supposed to say ``she.'' Man was just like a human being, okay? I'm really old-fashioned. I still use the word that way myself. It either means a male human being, if it's obvious, or it just means everybody. And that's, in a sense, what we're here to talk about. The idea of what would perfected man be? Some places you see it referred to as new man; an entirely different kind of person. But if you don't know that perfection means completion, this word doesn't even make any sense.
What am I supposed to do, find some lovely ideal and live up to it; and then I can say, ``All right, I'm perfect?'' It seems there's more than enough of that going around these days. I suspect, in fact, that that should probably be called idol worship. If you're a really good missionary, and you come up with a lovely ideal for everyone, and you sell it -- isn't that about right -- and you say, ``This is the perfect human being; it is the ideal circumstances;'' and you sell it to a whole bunch of people -- if you're a really good salesman -- then you're called spiritual. And it seems there's already more than enough of that going around, isn't there? Other people selling their ideals to you. Its very amusing, constantly hearing that everybody I meet has a new ideal for me to live up to. Being ornery, I suppose I'm not going to live up to any of them. I have no real interest in living up to an ideal, okay?
What we're talking about is finishing something. That's what completion is, isn't it? The word means: it's done. So what is that thing that people finish here on planet Earth? A few of them. What did you start when you came here, that you could finish it and say I've moved on to something else, now I'm a different kind of person? I'm doing something different than everybody else, because I finished the job everybody else works on their whole life and never finishes. What is that job? Anybody have any clue what you came here and started this long, arduous task of doing?
To build a soul.
Yeah, that's it; that's absolutely right.
Everybody I meet, they just look at me and say, ``I'm working on the job of
building a soul.'' I just hear that on everyone's tongue.
Somehow I don't think that's it. I don't think that's the job everybody's working at.
Yeah, they call it being happy. Isn't that
right? That's what everyone's working at, isn't it? I read this little thing
somebody wrote on a computer the other day, where they said we're all working
at being happy. And I wrote them back a little note that said, ``Some of us
aren't. Some of us finished that job a long time ago and moved on to something
Now that's really what it comes down to, isn't it? We are all working at being happy. Isn't that the job -- you came here; and you looked around; and said, ``What's the job of a human being?'' And you said, ``Aha, I know, it's to be happy!'' You set out to do it. Now here you are, many, many decades later. How's that job going, eh?
That's probably what folks meant when they said there's a job to finish and move on. That make sense? Finish that. I set out to do it when I first arrived here. I looked around and said, ``What is there to do?'' And I answered the question with: be happy; find happiness; chase after it. I've got to find it somewhere. And I started doing it -- and most people, I notice, spend their whole lives doing it. And very few of them seem to ever succeed at that particular task.
Know very many people who have succeeded, and say, ``Yes, I'm happy all the time?'' Every time you meet them they say, ``Yeah, I'm just tickled pink.''
My experience is most people complain a lot more than they tell me how delightful everything is. That's what I hear most of the time: complaints. What's wrong with everything. Okay?
So one of the ideas that we're here to deal with is this: maybe it's time to stop that game. Move on to something else. What has the game done for you so far?
If you really stop for a moment, and stop just doing it automatically: really look at what you've gotten out of this game, what have you received from playing this particular game? Has your reward been to be happy? Do you know anybody who has got that reward? I know sometimes from the outside it looks like other folks just might know one or two people, okay? But by and large, I'd say just about nobody here actually has that particular thing, eh? Looks about the way it is from your point of view?
But maybe that's the thing to end: the search for happiness. And it may be that the way you end it is not by getting it; but by giving it up as a bad job. Okay?
I tried it for a number of years; it has pretty much destroyed my life; and I'm done with it. I'm moving on. That's called perfection. I'm now complete. I finished the job I set out to do when I first got here: not by actually accomplishing it, because I don't think you can. Never met anybody who has. I just said that that's it. I gave it up. It was a stupid idea.
But look: the interesting thing is that almost no one does that. Almost no one sits for a moment, and looks back over their lives and says, ``What have I accomplished in this striving to be happy? Looking for this perfect ideal where I could finally say, `Okay, I made it, I'm happy.''' When have you actually done that?
And I've noticed most people have plenty of misery from playing this game. They don't have the ideal. They've gotten a lot of misery out of it. Maybe it's time to move on. Find something else to do. Make sense?
I heard someone say, one time, that on the day that they decided they didn't care any more whether or not they were happy; that was the day when they found out they're happy most of the time.
Now I guess that means that they were unhappy occasionally, okay, but nothing like when they worried about whether or not they had happiness now.
And I thought that sounded interesting. I thought I'd check it out. So one day I said, ``You know what, I'm not going to worry about it any more.'' So people ask me that question every now and again. They know I talk about funny ideas, and they like to look at me and say, ``But are you happy?'' It's true; people do. ``All right, you talk a good line, but are you happy?'' And I always look at them and say, ``I have no clue. I don't know.''
Well, that don't please them too much, because a spiritual person should know how to win that game. They ought to know, eh?
I tell them I don't check, any more. It's kind of hard to know where something is when you ain't looking for it any more. You just sort of run it into, by accident I guess.
And I don't look to see if it's standing by me any more. I don't check any more to say, ``Well, is happiness here yet?'' I just don't look. I don't know exactly whether I'm happy or not.
In fact, at this point I'm actually confused about just what happiness is. I've listened to people talk about it ever since I got here. And the more I listen, the more confused I get; because nobody seems to agree on what that is. I'm not even sure the word refers to anything that exists. I think it's a made-up word. And it really is true. When I decided just not to bother checking any more, I'm not going to look to see if I'm happy now?
That's one of the things we do an awful lot, isn't it? Well, let me check and see if I'm happy now. Well, how about now? Well, what about now? Did this do it? Am I happy now?
We spend a lot of time doing that, eh? And what's the result of those checks?
We're not happy.
Yeah, it's pretty much: most of the time I
check, and it's -- no, I'm not happy yet. So I decided to just stop
checking after a while. I decided to check this thing out that someone said
-- that on the day they stopped checking, that's the day they were happy.
I know a lot of misery comes from saying, ``No, I don't have it yet.'' Don't you? No, the person that I'm with is not quite the right person yet. No, the job that I have is not quite the right job yet.
That's where an awful lot of that unhappiness comes from. Maybe if you don't check so damn much, you won't realize that everything isn't perfect and not ideal yet. Move on.
The best I can tell, it's a bad job. We all decide that's what life is about. We all work very hard at it. I have some very odd points of view on this subject. I actually see that working at this impossible task called being happy kills you. It just destroys you. Shrivels you up and turns you into an old prune who hates everybody. That's the way it looks to me. Okay? Give it up. Move on. You say, well, what else can a human being do? Any questions or comments about this?
That's what I'm here to talk about. I don't know what you came to hear me talk about; but that's what I'm here to talk about, okay? Let's move on. Let's find something else to do.
Truly there is something else for a human being to do than to spend decades struggling to achieve something that, as far as I can tell, almost nobody ever gets. And that sounds kind of goofy to me. To work really hard, to be really miserable while I'm working really hard, to get something that I am not sure anybody actually gets. Just sounds goofy to me, okay? Any questions or comments? What do you think about this?
Like I said, I'm not real sure what happiness
is. But I do know that there's a big difference between a state of being, a
state of mind, and a state of body. Joy, as best I can tell, is a state of
being. I can be joyful when someone's beating me up. I don't think most people
can be happy under those circumstances unless they have that little thing
called sado-masochism going, okay? Most people, I think, couldn't experience
happy under those conditions. But I can experience joy under conditions that
most people would say, nobody could enjoy that. Just about anything can be
Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about: there are two different words that refer to this. One is a state of the senses; the other is a state of being. Okay? Those words are discontent or contented, dissatisfied or satisfied. Now those words refer to two entirely different things.
When I eat a really good meal, I'm satisfied for a few moments, aren't I? That's a state of the senses, see? It means the senses have been gratified right now. They've been given something quite nice. They're not bitching at me any more that they need something they don't have. And what I experience is a state of the body or the senses called satisfaction, right?
You understand what I'm saying? It isn't just with food. It's with all kinds of sensual things. I can be satisfied with many, many things. And at the same time I am satisfied on the sensory level, I can be discontent about my life. Isn't that right? One is a state of being, the other is a state of the senses. And they don't have to go together. I can have satisfaction, but no contentment. And vice versa. I can be completely content to be dissatisfied.
I remember the first time I tried that; very shortly before I met this fellow, in fact [referring to someone present]. I was in California, and I was so dissatisfied with the life style, and I started to get upset. After all, I wasn't happy while I was dissatisfied, was I? This was before I tried not worrying about happiness any more. I started to get upset about it. I didn't like feeling dissatisfied with the life style. Well, what's wrong with the life? What can I do to fix it? All these things began going through the head, eh? What am I going to do to fix this?
And all of a sudden I stopped for a second and I said, ``What is so bad about being dissatisfied, actually? What's the problem here? Why is it bad to feel dissatisfied?'' And I got to thinking about it for a little while and I realized: every time I ever did anything in the life, it was preceded by a little time of dissatisfaction. Isn't that about right?
Everything I have ever actually done, first I got dissatisfied with things the way they were, and then I went out to find some new way of satisfying self: and I did something new. And I considered, ``You know, actually dissatisfaction ain't such a bad thing then, is it, because it brings new changes in this life.''
And I'm going to try something new with this one. I'm going to sit here and I'm going to be completely content, in fact, overjoyed to be dissatisfied; because it means I'm about to do something really neat, and I don't even know what it is yet. Because that's what dissatisfied is, you know.
That kind of dissatisfaction says that something in me is not being gratified, and I don't even know what it is. I don't even know what would gratify it. Isn't that the kind of dissatisfaction when you're sitting there saying, ``My life sucks?'' Some part of me is not being gratified right now and I don't even know what would gratify it.
Well, this sounds like I'm about to go on a neat trip, doesn't it? And sure enough, I tried that. I said, ``I'm going to be completely content.'' Whenever this little thing comes up and says, ``I don't like my life right now,'' I'm going to say, ``Oh, good. That's neat. That means I'm going to do something big. And I'm not just going to like move down the block this time. I'm going to do something really different. That's good.''
And that went on for a short period of time. And a little while later I moved out of the state of California and I got a job making about four times as much money as I ever made before in the entire life. And I moved to Texas here, in Austin. And I lived there for quite a while and experienced that. In Austin I learned a new life style that is better for me than the one that I was taught was ideal. I've been living something like it now for quite a while: because it's better for me. May not suit anyone else, though. Probably not an ideal.
From then on, every time dissatisfaction came up, I said, ``All right, I'm going to do something neat now!''
So you see, one is a state of being; the other is a state of the senses. And that's part of the problem with the happiness game. Happiness is about feeding the senses. It has nothing to do with my state of being, directly. Happiness is having the right job. It's fulfilling. And what the hell does that mean except it gratifies my senses?
``It fulfills me. I have a sense of being important and meaningful now that I never had on another job.'' Well, I'm sure your employer is very happy when he puts money in the pockets from your effort.
What else is happiness but gratifying the senses? When people say they're happy, do they ever say it about anything other than something that gratifies the senses? I'm happy I had a great meal; I had a great screw; I found the right person; I found the right job; I found the right car. Isn't that always what people are talking about that makes them happy, is something that gratifies the senses? Huh?
So as far as I can tell, happiness is when every single sense in you is completely satisfied forever. It's complete and total gratification of the senses a hundred percent of the time. I never get hungry; I never get horny; I have the perfect job so I never have the little desire in me for a better job, for a better this or a better that. Everything is completely gratifying to me. Where are you going to find that? I don't think life can even work that way. I think that's just part of life: you get a hunger; you look around and you say, ``what feeds this hunger?'' Not all hunger is of the body?. There are lots of interesting hungers. The hunger that I had many years ago when I moved to Austin was for a different kind of life style. The one that I was living didn't satisfy any more, and I wanted to live a different way.
There are lots of hungers, and I don't think you can feed a hunger once and for all, forever. I think it's kind of designed to wear off until you can eat more. And I actually think that's pretty neat. I don't know if I really want to eat a meal today and that would be it for the rest of my life. I never get to taste food again because I'm completely gratified as far as food is concerned.
And that's, as far as I can tell, what people want with happiness. Total and complete gratification a hundred percent of the time.
``Why do I keep getting hungry?'' Well, I think its because you've used up all the last food you had. It's really that simple, isn't it? That's why you get hungry again: because you took some food in; you used it all up; and now you've got to go get more. And that little hunger says, you know, says, ``Go get more. we've run out.'' That's why. No big secret. ``But I don't want to get hungry any more!'' Well, then, die. It's the only method I know of to stop hunger.
You see, no one would put me in charge of altruistic projects, eh? ``Stop world hunger!'' Yeah, just kill them all. They won't be hungry no more. I don't think folks would like my solution. But I think as long as they're walking around, they're going to get hungry, okay? That's the way it is.
Isn't that really what happens? Think about what you're struggling for. Isn't it all about feeding the senses so they will stop telling you, ``I don't like this. I don't like that. I need some more. I need some more?''
I don't think you can do that. There's no such thing as total gratification of the senses that I've found. And I know you can't make it permanent. That doesn't even make sense. I need to know when I need more. Okay?
Do you understand how I can use the word joy in one sense and then turn it around and use happiness? Because to me they're totally different things. One is a state of senses. That's all I can figure out from what people mean by happiness.
I really have had a lot of trouble understanding what this word is supposed to mean. Every person I talk to defines it differently. If you ask them what happy is -- try it sometime -- ask about five people what happy is, and see if you aren't confused in the end. The only thread I've seen that runs through this all is that I would be happy if I never got hungry again in any of the senses I have.
Now I get lots of different kinds of hungers, okay? Sometimes I get a hunger for fine music, okay? There are lots of different ways I get fed besides physical food. The best I can tell, that's what everybody's looking for, to be never hungry again. Good luck. It doesn't even make sense.
I like getting hungry. I especially like it, as I've said, when I find a new hunger in me that's never been there before. That's really fun. Oh boy, I am in for a journey now. I get to go find something that I've never seen before, that I don't even know if it exists, and see if it feeds this hunger I've got now. Now that sounds like fun. This is going to be an exciting journey. Any other questions or comments?
I think we'll take a short break, and during that break it might be interesting to consider: if you were to say what happiness is, what would it be? And see if it doesn't fit that definition of: it gratifies the senses. ``I get a good feeling out of it.'' Well, that's the senses, isn't it? Those feelings give me little sensory kicks. Some of them are pleasant, some are not, but they're a sensory thing, okay? That's one of the things that we really look for, isn't it? I always have a good feeling. Check it out. See if that's what we're all struggling for.
And if you find out that that's true, you might also ask yourself: Do you suppose this is possible? Suppose it is actually possible to have the senses never unhappy again, never disturbed? Or is that just like a pipe dream that somebody made up?
Actually, it sounds horrible. It has been my experience that it is those dissatisfactions, those hungers, that keep me moving.
If the day ever actually came where I had what everybody wants: permanent, total gratification of the senses; I think I'd be a lump. I don't think I'd ever get out of whatever chair I happened to be sitting in when this great enlightenment came, eh?
What reason would there be for me to move if I never got hungry again; I never wanted anything? Why would I do anything?
I actually value those hungers. They keep me moving. They keep me doing things. They're a little unpleasant sometimes, but without them I'm not sure I'd get out of bed. If I woke up every morning and I said every hunger is already gratified, why would I get out of bed? So I could make it even better? So I could see if I could make it worse so I could bring it back to the ideal at the end of the day?
What motivation would I have to get out of bed unless I got hungry, or had a full bladder, or something, eh? See? It's that what everybody else calls unhappiness that keeps me moving. I want to change that hunger. I want to empty that bladder. Okay? I've come to value those things that everybody else hates. They're what keep me going.
Any other questions or comments before we take a little break? I always like to lay at least one big trip on everybody, you know, right off the bat. See, this way you'll know whether you want to stay for the rest of the week-end or not. If I'm just crazy, then go home. Let's take a break.
Any questions or comments? Come up with
anything during the break? What does it look like from where you sit? Even
though it may not be a very pleasant observation, does it seem accurate? I
know that it's quite disappointing. For some of us to hear that happiness is
an impossible goal, it's disappointing. ``Oh, tell me something else. Tell me
I can get it. Tell me how to get it. Just don't tell me that it's impossible.
It hurts.'' But if we set the hurt aside for just a little moment and look at
it, it does seem to be accurate. What do you think? I guess the silence means
you can't think of anything to argue about it.
When I was a very young man, I lived next door to an elderly lady who one day said, ``Have you ever heard of Krishnamurti?'' And I said, no. It sounded like a sneeze or something to me. I had never heard Indian words before, and it did, it just sounded like a sneeze or something. ``Well, you've got to come listen to this.'' So she played me a whole record. An actual record, I guess, that somebody made of Krishnamurti talking. I listened to it, and I can't really say I do remember what was said at the time. But when she was all through with it, she said, ``It's really neat. He talks about some interesting things. But he takes everything away and gives you back nothing.'' I've never forgotten that. So lest I be accused of the same thing, let's see what else is possible.
If we're going to stop playing that game, if we're going to finally put an end to it, to say it's done -- it's done because it's impossible -- I'm tired of trying to be happy. I'm moving on. I'm saying, it doesn't work. I've never seen it work for anybody. And it appears to me that trying to be happy is what actually makes you miserable.
We have a saying that if you live to get, you live in lack. It's pretty damn true, isn't it? Happiness is about getting. Everybody who talks to me about happiness, there's something they need first. Isn't that about right? ``When I get the right guy; when I get the right gal; when I get the right this; the right that: then I'll be happy.'' When you live to get like that, then every time you check, you don't have it yet. Isn't that about the way it works? Or you've only got part of it, but you don't have the whole thing. So you live in lack.
So we live in a world where everyone thinks there's not enough to go around. We've got to fight, we've got to compete to get ours. Okay? I'm not going to play that game any more just because I said it's a silly game; not because I got really good at it and said, ``Okay, I've won that game, now what else can I do?'' But just say it's impossible. I'm moving on.
What else would I do? We'll look at that for a moment. What comes after completion, so to speak? What would I do next? What would I replace the happiness game with?
I'm reminded of another interesting story that I want to tell you about -- living in lack. I remember one time I was hanging around these folks who were: oh, so spiritual. They decided to give us a spiritual demonstration. You know, the guy who was running all this stuff, he was almost God Him Self or something, okay?
This was a spiritual demonstration. It looked like musical chairs to me. Because what they did was, they cleared the room that we were in and they put some chairs up in the front of the room -- but not enough for everybody -- and said, ``That chair is everything you want in this world.''
I guess I'm not very imaginative, but I had a little trouble with that one, okay? It just looked like a chair to me. But, at any rate, we were supposed to play this game where we fought over these chairs, okay? It kind of looked like that little kids' game to me, musical chairs.
And we would all circle around the chairs, which looks about the way things actually work in real life to me. That's what I see people doing most of the time, circling around the thing they want. ``Oh, I want that, I want that, I want that.'' All right? That part seemed pretty accurate to me.
And then at a certain point, someone would say, ``Okay, go for it,'' or whatever they said. I don't remember what it was. They didn't have music. But then you're supposed to get the chair.
So we played this little game and I sort of half-assedly did it. It wasn't very interesting to me, so I was, of course, one of the first people not to get a chair. I just could not get into fighting over these chairs. So then the great spiritual master said, ``Now those of you who didn't get a chair, lay down on the floor; because you're dead, because that's everything you needed to live. You needed to get it.'' So I laid down on the floor and I was dead.
And then, of course, you know, they took away some more chairs a few more times, until finally they had some real aggressive types who were left with a chair and the rest of us were on the floor. But you know, the truth is, this is the way we see things, isn't it? There's not enough to go around. You've got to fight for yours if you want it. And we wonder why we live in the world that we do.
And our so-called spiritual teachers tell us?, ``You're absolutely correct. There's not enough to go around. If you want to get happiness, you're going to have to learn how to be better at grabbing first than everybody else. This is a spiritual teaching. Because there's not enough.''
I've never noticed that to be the case. In fact, just out of orneriness, after they were all done and we were allowed to stand up again; and we were sitting back down and they were talking about what they'd just done, I raised my hand. ``You know what? This is a hotel. There's a room right next door full of chairs. So I beg to differ with you. I'm not dead. I didn't fight with you over those chairs. I can just go next door and grab a chair. So as far as I can tell, there's more than enough here to go around. The fact that lots of folks are greedy and want it all to themselves doesn't change the fact that there is more than enough to go around.''
I have never been without in this entire life. I've always had what I need. That demonstration was not a spiritual teaching. It is just what we believe.
Obviously, if you tell people what they already believe, they'll be very pleased with you and give you lots of money. And I think it's called a con. To spiritual people, it's a racket. And I've never forgotten that game.
We wonder why the world is the way it is, eh? There's not enough; not enough to go around for all of us. ``You get yours.'' No thanks. I think I'll lay on the floor and be dead. I'd prefer that.
And when you've all got your chairs, I'll just go next door where there's a storehouse of chairs and grab one. There are plenty of chairs in this world.
There's plenty of everything else in this world, okay? The only reason we perceive lack is because that's where we live in the inner world. And when you set up a list of things that will make you happy, you're constantly checking to see if you've got them yet. And folks, let's face it, most of the time you're going to have nine out of the ten things you need. Is that right? That's the way it works, eh?
I need these ten things to be happy and right now I have nine, and the nine is always changing, isn't it? But there's always one that I don't have right now. I don't think it's lack. It's not that what you need isn't there or that there's not enough or anything else. It's just that you keep checking to see if you've got all ten yet, and you feel always, ``I don't.'' It's usually pretty hard to arrange for all ten of those things at the same time. That about right? You can have nine of them, you can have eight of them, and on rare occasions you actually get all ten.
Since we're talking about sensory stuff, it always wears off, doesn't it? Because that's what sensory stuff does. When it feels good, it only feels good for a while. ``Goodness, I adore it.'' That has nothing to do with it. I always laugh, but if we got what we wanted, we would all starve to death: because you would eat one meal and you'd never get hungry again; and you would live in that wonderful sensation of having just had a great meal for a few days until you starved to death. Isn't that right? Because you wouldn't know that you were dying. Thank goodness it wears off and it starts to hurt again and I go eat so that I get some more energy to live tomorrow.
I used to -- and I guess I'm going to do it again -- but I used to tell the story: imagine that your first orgasm was the only one you ever got. If we had our way of permanent gratification, that's the way it would be. You'd have your first orgasm and then you'd just live in that for the rest of your life. And I realized (I used to say this because to me that would be horrible; I like doing it again), but I realized, you know, I suspect most people listening to that would say, ``Yeah, all right! That's what I want!''
Personally, I don't really want to live in an orgasm all the time, okay? It's kind of nice on occasion; but I don't know if I want to live there. I'm not sure how much I'd get done. Possibly part of the fun is getting that other person to go along with it, you know? To me, anyway.
But that's kind of what we want, this permanent state of gratification. But since that's impossible, we live in a place where there's never enough.
What else could I do? I said I don't want to be accused of just ripping this away from you and leaving you with nothing, okay? What can I do instead? I admit this game is impossible.
Well, there have been noticed a few other things that a person could do. Number one, I could look around and say, ``What can I do to contribute to what's going on here?'' That can keep you quite occupied. Instead of living a life that says what can I take (which is what happiness is about, what can I get), I look around and say, ``What can I contribute?'' I'm perfectly capable of getting. This doesn't say that I'm not getting. It just says, what can I contribute while I'm getting? That's one thing I can do, isn't it?
How many of us can say that something that we're doing with the life is a contribution? The only contribution that I hear about people talking about is society. They want to contribute to society. Is that what you normally hear when people use that word -- make your contribution to society -- and the best I can tell that means: go and produce something that all the rest of the consumers want and get paid well. That's what that appears to mean. Produce something that folks want to consume.
Well, unfortunately, I'm not that impressed with society. I've really not been interested in contributing to it. In fact, were it not for the fact that I'd be put in jail if I talked about this too much, I got to admit that, if I had my druthers, what I would contribute is to the end of society, okay? As far as I'm concerned, the only proper thing for human beings to do is live in complete anarchy. If I were going to contribute to society, it would probably be to its demise.
I have looked at what society does and it just doesn't impress me. Society is what built all those jails because it couldn't treat people decent enough that they could stay out of jail. Society is what is raping this planet right now in the name of one more goo-gah. Why would I want to contribute to that? What am I contributing to? If I'm going to contribute, it's going to be to something that I see value in, eh?
So that's one thing that I can do, is to take a look and say, ``What do I value?'' And make some contribution to that. That's a game I could play for perhaps a very long time, isn't it? So that might actually get that little part of you that sits around and says, ``I'm hungry'' all the time to say, ``Yeah, that would be okay. I might still be hungry on occasion, but that would be an okay life, wouldn't it, to know that I am contributing something.'' Is that something worth pursuing?
Okay. There's another thing that I could
consider. I could find out what it truly means to live, to be about that. So
far the only thing I know about living is how to be a savage. And I was
considering this the last few days, about how I was going to talk about this.
I kept looking for a word. What word can I use that won't offend people too
much? That's the only one I could come up with. I could stop being a savage. I
could maybe find out what it actually means to be a civilized human being.
Now I guess that probably doesn't cut it, because you're probably sitting here thinking, ``I'm not a savage.'' Well, no, it's true, you don't live in a little mud hut somewhere with a spear, you know, looking for dinner. Not that kind of savage.
Technological how-to doesn't stop it from being savagery, okay? I might say, what can I do besides just be a savage? What can I do besides competing? That's another thing that I could perhaps see, is, that the way that I would like to live is, I would like to live a life of cooperation instead of competition.
And that's what the happiness game gets, is a bunch of people competing for those few things that make folks happy, eh? And I could say, ``I'm going to live a life of cooperating with others. I'm going to work with them instead of fighting with them any more.'' That's my view of savagery, is people fighting, and I really don't care how sophisticated you make the fighting, it's still savagery to me. What have we got to fight about?
And I might even get interested in a word that we've all heard about and know almost nothing about, and say, ``I'm going to see what it is to love. I'm going to do that. That's what this life is going to be about. It's not going to be about: am I happy right this second? Because I'm going to get whatever it is that I feel like getting. It's just what human beings do. But I'm going to see if I can live a life of love.''
Those seem like adequate replacements to me. What do you think? You think that might be as worthwhile a life to live as a life of trying to compete for happiness and things that provide happiness? That may be what the person who is called new man does, lives a life of contribution, cooperation, a life of love, instead of this life that we're living right now.
Somebody was asking over the break, ``well how come everybody talks about, I just want you to be happy, but they don't act like they actually want me to be happy?'' It's really simple, isn't it? Because they say, ``All that matters is that you're happy.'' But what they mean is that all that matters is that I'm happy. Isn't that about right? We all say that. ``All that matters to me is your happiness.'' Well, okay, then why do you act that way: because that don't make me too happy? Well, because I didn't mean it. Sorry, when I said all that matters is your happiness, what I meant was all that matters is my happiness. And if you get some, well, good. That's kind of tacked on second as an after-thought, okay?
That's what we're here to look at. Can we end this game and see that there are other things that I could do that seem just as worthwhile; and start doing them? That's what we're here to talk about. The one that I may want to do a little talking about this week-end is this last one, okay? What would that be like to live a life of love?
Somebody gave me a little poem. I think it was really a fragment. I don't think it was the whole thing. They translated it for me. I don't speak the language it was written in. There were two lines in this little poem that I've never forgotten. It said, ``Wander as though mad with love through a world that is distracted by love.'' I never forgot that. When I first looked at it, ``I said, what the heck does that mean? What does it mean?'' It just kept eating away at me, you know. I wanted to know what that person meant when they said that, those few words. People aren't distracted by love. You see, that's the part that I couldn't get. ``Wandering as though mad with love.'' That kind of sounds like fun. I'm a bit of a madman, anyway, and that's as good a way to act mad as any other, right? I'm just mad with love, okay? That would be okay.
But I couldn't get that other part. What does that mean, distracted by love? I considered it for a long time, and it finally hit me: you know, the guy's right. You don't see too many people acting loving in this world, do you? What you see is a lot of people saying how badly they want love. Well, I think that's about what distracted by love could mean, eh? That's what you hear just endlessly, day in and day out? ``Oh, I want to be loved, I want to be loved, I want to be loved.''
I don't know that I've often heard the words, ``I want to love.'' But one day I considered this wanting to be loved a little bit; and I said, ``Is that really what I want? Do I want to be loved?'' Well, I do enjoy the experience of being loved. It's kind of neat, okay, so I guess I do want it. But I wonder if that's what I'm really looking for all the time when I'm going out looking for this love thing, eh, which kind of sounds like distracted by love to me? Looking for it.
And it finally occurred to me: what I really enjoyed about the whole experience -- even though I do like the feeling of being loved, it's true, I do enjoy that, okay, it's a nice thing -- but you know what really gets me going is the feeling I get when I love. And it occurred to me, I could do that any time. I don't need somebody else to do that for me, do I? Now to be loved, I've got to find somebody who's willing to do that and not forget. That's the hard part, isn't it? Ask them: remember that every now and again. ``Oh, yeah, I love you.'' I must find somebody who will do that, you see -- to get that be loved part -- and I realized that's back to the happiness game again.
Because it is true, when somebody loves me, it feels great. It's very gratifying, very enjoyable: until they forget. Then it doesn't feel so good.
But what I really enjoy about the experience of that is the way I feel when I'm loving. I thought about the times when I was madly in love or maybe just loving, okay? And I said, you know, that really feels neat, too, doesn't it? There's something about that, walking around loving things, that just feels neat.
I'll never forget the first time. I suppose that's probably true of everybody, eh: and it was like walking on air. There was no gravity for a while. I'll never forget that. It made quite an impression.
And I thought, you know, that's what I really want. I enjoy being loved, no doubt about it; but what I really want is that feeling inside me when I love. What if I could do that, instead of fussing all the time about does anybody love me? That might be a pretty neat way to live, eh? So I think I got some understanding of what this man may have meant when he spoke quite a while ago: ``Wander as though mad with love through a world that's distracted by love.''
Everybody says, ``I want to be loved.'' How often have you heard, ``I want to love?'' Ever heard anybody say that: sit and tell you the thing they want more than anything else is to be love, or loving, or to love? What you always hear is, ``I want someone to love me. I want to get it from outside.'' Yet the experience of having it here, even on the lower forms that we know about, eh, is incredible, isn't it? Even just on that level of romantic, lustful love: its incredible when you have it on the inside.
And, yeah, if you can get it from the outside, it's kind of like icing on the cake, eh? Isn't that about the way it works? But having it on the inside is the part that really does it for me.
I rarely hear that in this world. Have you ever heard anybody say that? I don't remember hearing too often in all the years I've been here anyone saying anything but, ``I want to be loved.'' Have you? Ever heard anybody say that?
That's the game, the game of happiness, the game that we're ending here if we choose to. I'm not getting it from somewhere else, so I've lived without most of the time. I know from my own experience how difficult it is to remember 24 hours a day that I love somebody, okay? Every now and again I forget. They do something that kind of annoys me and I forget for a couple of minutes that I love them.
I don't know if I'm ever going to get that from outside. I'm actually pretty good at remembering things and I still find it hard. I suspect that most people find it about impossible. I have noticed that from their behavior -- ``I love you, I love you, ooh, why'd you do that, what's wrong with you? I love you, I love you.'' Hm, okay.
That's the love I learned from growing up. It was conditional. I was loved as long as I did the right thing. After a while I finally looked at that one day and I said, ``You know, it's not me that you love. It's what I do.'' That's very clear, isn't it? You don't love me. The next time somebody at home said, ``I love you, Phil,'' I just looked at them and I thought, ``Yeah, right.'' You know, you can't say this. You're a little kid. I'd get slapped, but I thought inside my head, ``Like hell.'' Except I didn't cuss yet. I said, ``No you don't. You love what I do when I do what you want, but you don't love me. That's very clear, because every time I do something you don't like, you treat me like dirt.''
That's the kind of love that we know, isn't it? It's always conditional love. Maybe this love that we're talking about here doesn't put conditions, okay? It doesn't say, I'll love you if.
That's the love I might be interested in having on the inside and living a life of that. I'll see what I get. I might get some neat things, but that's no longer the focus of the life. If I get a few neat things, that's like icing on the cake, okay. But my real focus is on these things [referring to the words contribution, cooperation, and love]. Whichever ones I find interesting; and maybe perhaps all of them. They're all quite interesting ways to live.
To live a life where I'm saying, ``What can I do to contribute to what's going on here?'' Of course, there's a catch, isn't there? In order to contribute, I've got to know what's going on. But, at any rate, ``what can I do to see what living is?'' Can I cooperate with others instead of telling them I know what's right all the time and fighting to get them to do the right thing? Can I cooperate with them? And I see what it is to love without conditions. Whatever you do, I'll still love you.
That sounds like an adequate replacement for a life of striving and struggle and fighting and conniving to get happiness which never seems to quite be here yet. That worked for me. What do you think?
This, I do believe, is called growing up. I think when a person has done this, they've stopped being a child. That what is completed here, really, is childhood. It's reasonable for a child to be greedy and look and then say, ``What can I get?'' When I put that aside, I may find things that an adult wants to do.
I put aside the things of childhood -- the toys, the goo-gahs, the neat little, oh, I got to have this for Christmas type stuff, you know -- and I put that aside, and on the day when I do that, when I put aside the things of childhood and I begin to deal with the things of an adult, I guess I've kind of grown up, eh: although I still like toys. They're just not the whole life any more. I've found some adult activities.
Maybe that's what we're really looking at here, eh? Somebody who grew up and left childhood behind. And I've kind of noticed that most people, no matter how old their bodies are: they're little children inside. They behave about like a five year old, most of them. Anybody disagree with that? You hang around -- okay, eight or nine, okay -- you hang around some eight or nine year olds for a while and then go hang around your friends again, and you tell me exactly what the differences are, okay?
I don't think that most of us grow up because we don't leave behind the things of childhood. We still are playing the same game. If only I had that pretty dress, then I'd be in the in-crowd and I'd be liked. If only I was the football hero, then all the girls would be following me around. Okay. It's still the things of childhood, we just made them more sophisticated things I got to get now instead of just dresses or the winning touchdown or whatever the hell it is. Any questions or comments?
So let's consider. Am I bad old Krishnamurti? I just took everything away and put nothing back? Or do you suppose that these others could occupy you for a few years; and you'll do this instead? Sounds pretty worthwhile to me. Any questions or comments before we satisfy another hunger? Okay, I'm ready to eat.
It seems to me that if I'm going to stop doing something I need to first know what it is. Guess that's a prerequisite, eh? So before we go on, I think we're going to have to first say what it is that I'm stopping. Okay? What it is that I'm finishing. So first we got to look at what children do and maybe I can walk away from childish things, okay?
We have a little thing we draw called the Picture of Man to make it real clear what that is. It says this is a human being for those who can't draw, and that human being has a physical body. That's a little bit of what you are. It has an awareness function, the part that says ``I'', the part that knows it's experiencing things, okay?
|Picture of Man's Function|
In the human being, the awareness function is
pretty well developed. In other living things it's often just barely there.
In fact, as you look around at life forms, we can sort of say that the more
evolved they are, the more aware of an awareness function there is here.
I'm not real sure that termites have a lot of awareness of themselves. I don't know how much ``I'' they have. They have some awareness, obviously. Something's got to be aware of the sensory stuff that's going on just to respond to it. But I'm not so sure that a termite says, ``I'm going to eat this wood today.'' I think it just sort of does it; but it's aware that it's going on. All right? As you get more and more evolved in life forms, there seems to be more and more awareness. When you get to a human being, there seems to be quite a bit of awareness, okay?
Do you understand what awareness is? It's that part that knows that it's doing a thing. I'm doing this. That's a much greater part of what a human being is than the body. The body is a small part of what we are. This awareness is much greater.
Then we remind people that there's another part of ourselves that's even greater yet, around here we just call X, because we don't know much about that. It's to remind ourselves constantly as we refer to it that it is something that I don't know much about. If you use the word X with a certain amount of awareness, what you're saying is, ``Yeah, that's the part of me I don't know much about. I know a little bit, but not very much.''
It's been given a lot of words here on planet Earth. This is the part that is Life itself. Without X, you got a hunk of dead meat. When X is in a hunk of meat, it's alive. When X takes a hike, it's a corpse. X is the part that is alive, not me. I'm the part that knows that Life is here. I'm aware of that, you understand, but I am not that which lives. X is Life, and X is in many, many things, and most of the things X is ``in'', X doesn't even know it's there. There's very little awareness.
It knows that fact. I'm the part that's aware of it, okay? Life is the part that's alive, not me. I'm just experiencing the Life. We don't know much about that. Most of us don't even