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What is the origin of thought, and what is the thinker? One can see thought is the response of memory, which is fairly simple to understand, accumulated memory, knowledge, experience, the background from which there is a response to any challenge; if you are asked where you live there is instant response, and so on. So memory, experience, knowledge is the background of thought. But thought which is always old can never be free, it may express itself freely but it is always old; and therefore thought can never see anything new. So when I understand that, very clearly, the mind becomes quiet. Right? Because life is a movement, is a constant movement in relationship; and thought, trying to capture that movement in terms of the past, is afraid of life. Right?
And so, then the question is: seeing all this, seeing freedom is necessary to examine - and to examine very clearly there must be the discipline of learning and not of suppression, imitation, seeing how the mind is conditioned by society, by the past, and the mind, the brain is the past, and all thought springing from that is old and therefore it cannot possibly understand anything new. And to understand, the mind must be completely quiet - not controlled, not shaped to be quiet. Now seeing all that - actually seeing it, not theoretically, then there is an action from that perception, or that very perception is the action of liberation from fear. So on the next occasion of any fear arising, there is immediate perception and the ending of it.
Are we going along together? You see from this arises - perhaps we have no time to go into it this morning - what is love? For most of us it is fear, pleasure, which we call love. When there is no fear and the understanding of pleasure, then what is love? And who is going to answer this question? The speaker, the priest, the book, some outside agency to tell us you are doing marvellously well, carry on? Or, having examined, observed, seen non-analytically, this whole structure and nature of pleasure, fear, pain, and therefore understood that the observer, the thinker, is part of thought. Because if there is no thinking there is no observer, thinker, the two are inseparable. The thinker is the thought.
So seeing all that and the beauty of all that, the subtlety of all that, then where is the mind that starts to enquire into this question of fear? You understand? What is the state of the mind now that has gone through all this? Is it the same as it was before it came here? Or has it seen this thing very intimately, seen the nature and the beauty of this thing called thought, fear and pleasure, seen all that, what is the actual state of the mind now? Obviously nobody can answer that except yourself; and if you have actually observed it, gone into it, you will see that it has become completely transformed.
London, United Kingdom | 2nd Public Talk, 16th March 1969 Read full text