Quote of the Day

Jul 4, 2021
So we are going to find out together the meaning of this word 'insight'. To have an insight into something is not personal, is not based on some ideological conclusions, memories, remembrances. One must be free of that to have an instant insight into something. One must be free of knowledge to have immediate perception. This is not something extravagant, exotic, or rather emotional, but actual: where, if you have ever had this kind of immediate understanding and therefore immediate action, that immediate understanding demands immediate action irrelevant of time. Hasn't it happened? It happens, obviously, but then thought says, 'I have had that insight, I have had that strange deep perception and therefore from that immediate action, but I wish it would continue all the time'. You understand? I want that insight, that immediate perception, immediate understanding, to continue. When you say it must continue you have already begun the whole movement of thought. I wonder if you see this. Insight, the quick perception of something is instantaneous and finished there. You can't carry it over. Whereas thought demands that it should be carried over, therefore prevents the next insight. I wonder if you get all this.
Have we understood something of this because it is very important, because from this we can go into something further where quick insight is demanded so that you never have to struggle, never have to have conflict. Because when you are acting upon insight it is an irrevocable truth. It is not intuition. Don't go away... We are using the word carefully. People have intuitions, which is, they desire, project and you know all that kind of ugly stuff. This is insight. Quick perception and action is not personal, therefore it is whole, it is holistic. And our actions are never whole. We do something, regret, 'I wish I hadn't done that', or we have done something that gives us pleasure and we want more of that action. So whereas insight is something which is quite simple, but to have such an insight into things one must have a quick mind, not a dull mind, not a mind that is frightened, or a mind where thought says 'If I do that what will happen? I might regret it, or there might be failure, it might bring about hurt to others and to myself' - and so action is never total, complete, whole. Whereas action which is born out of insight, immediate perception, has no regrets because it is actual, it is the only action.

Now bearing that in mind, perhaps even intellectually, do you have a quick perception of what is the whole nature and structure of authority? Authority of books, authority of professors, authority of scientists, authority of the religious priests, and so on and so on. Or your own experience, which has become your authority. To have an immediate insight into it - then you are free totally of all authority. Then you don't have to fight and struggle to say 'I accept this authority, I don't accept that authority. The authority of my guru is marvellous but I reject the authority of the priest'. They are exactly the same thing.

So in discussing, in being challenged and challenging each other, are you free of authority? There is the authority of the policeman, there is the authority of the law, the authority of the surgeon - that perhaps has its right place - but is there psychological authority of a belief, of a dogma, of a conclusion, of an ideology, the Communist, Socialist or whatever authority, religious, inwardly? If you have then you will never find out what is right action - obviously. Right?
Brockwood Park, England | 1st Public Talk 26th August 1978 Read full text