What shall we talk about? What do you think is the most important thing that we three can talk about?
Well, the one thing, I’ve had an idea lately, and there is one thing that’s been on my mind, and I have been getting it from, I mean when we talked before, and that is, there is the feeling you have been conveying that life comes first and not thought or work—something like that, in other words, that I find in myself, and I find I think most people are caught up in the fact that—you know you said once we live second-hand lives. If we could talk about that, I think—the second-handness of our life.
What do you say?
Well, in relation to that I perhaps would like to talk about the question of wholeness.
Yes, sir. Shall we talk about that first…
…and then include yours.
Sure. I mean, I think this is part of it.
Part of that, yes.
I see that the second-handedness is not wholeness.
Wholeness, quite. I wonder how we can approach this question, knowing that most people are fragmented, broken up and not whole. How do we tackle or approach this question?
Through direct awareness of the fragmentation.
No, I would like to—I am just asking it because—are we discussing it theoretically?
Verbally, or taking ourselves—you, we three—taking ourselves as we are and examining what we mean by fragmented. And then work from there, what is the whole, not theoretically or verbally. Then I think that has vitality, that has some meaning.
Right, right. Well, if we see the fragmentation, the wholeness is there.
Ah, no, no, don’t assume anything.
That’s too fast.
Then we are off to theory.
Okay. Right, right.
You know, we have been talking with a lot of students here, this question. Dr Bohm was there too. And whether we can ever be aware of ourselves at all. Or we are only aware of patches, not the totality of fragmentations. I do not know if I am conveying this.
Can one be aware, conscious, know, the various fragments, examining one by one by one by one, and who is the examiner, is he not also a fragment who has assumed an authority? So when we talk about being aware of fragments—socially, morally, ethically, religiously, business, art, you know, the whole activity is fragmented. Can one, is one aware of the movement of these fragments or do you take one fragment and examine it or say “Yes, I am aware of that”, and not the many. You follow what I am saying?
I am following you. I think you are mostly aware of—when I think of what you are saying, I seem to be aware of a kind of many fragments.
One at a time, you know, spread out like that, like a machine-gun.
Yes. So you are really aware one by one.
Right. And caught up by the movement of the fragments.
One by one. Is that so? Are you sure that it is so?
Yes, I think, I mean it seems to be that… Well, then sometimes you can take a step back, or you seem to take a step back or I seem to take a step back, and I am aware of these many.
No, when Dr Bohm asked, can’t we talk over together, this question of wholeness which implies holiness, health, sanity and all that, I wonder from what source he is asking that question.
Yes. You mean is he is coming from a fragmented position or he is coming from a whole position.
No, no. If he is asking from the whole position, there is no question.
So, I would like to, if one may ask, are we aware of the fragments as a whole, a collection of fragments, or are we aware one fragment at each time? What do you say, sir?
Generally, the thing presents itself first as primarily one fragment…
One fragment at a time.
…with a background of all the other fragments perhaps dimly present in it. I mean, in the beginning, that one fragment seems to take emphasis or pre-eminence in awareness.
Doesn’t that one fragment fragment out quickly into many little fragments? I have an idea and then that idea is in contrast to another idea so I am immediately caught up into two fragments there, and then I have another idea which is the repetition of that first idea so I am caught up in a movement of fragments rather than—I mean, my attitude is fragmented, my relationship is fragmented, my very substance of movement is a feeling of fragmentation. I don’t have any center when I am fragmented. I am not…
I am not sure about that.
That is the question.
I am not at all sure that there is no center when you are fragmented.
I think definitely there is a center.
Because I mean that is the major fragment you are aware of.
Then let us go into that more.
Well, I just think that there is a center which you may sense anywhere, say here, and that seems to be the center of everything, everything that is connected to everything, right?
I see what you are saying, but I feel that when the fragmentation is going on it is like the center is looking for itself, it feels like it’s not a center.
Are you aware of the fragmentation? Not, fragmentation is going on.
No, you’re not. I am not.
Then what are we aware of?
I think—that is a terrific question—because I think when there is fragmentation what we are aware of is like being sucked into more fragments. In other words there is a kind of movement of more fragmentation, more fragmentation, which is what we are aware of. It is what you have talked of in terms of pleasure. It is like pleasure is pulling us forward into more fragments—this would give me pleasure, that would give me pleasure, that would give me pleasure. And it is that feeling of pieces.
Before we go into the question of pleasure…
…are we aware actually, from a center, which says, ‘I am fragmented’? That is the question, isn’t it?
Right. That is the question.
We are both aware of a center and from a center, you see…
…and this center seems to be, as you say, the fragment that is dominating, or attempting to dominate.
That center is the dominating factor.
Yes. In other words…
Which is in itself a fragment.
Yes, I mean this center is itself… Well, it seems to be the center of your being, you know, as it were the center of the ego or the self, which one might think is the whole.
Because it is in contact with everything, you see. In other words…
Would you say having a center is the very cause of fragmentation?
Yes, I would say that, although at first sight it seems quite different.
At first sight it seems—and I think that is important. The difference between—at first sight it doesn’t seem that way.
At first sight it seems that the center is what is organising everything into a whole.
In other words one feels one wants a center to bring everything to a whole, to stop the fragmentation.
Yes, try to bring about integration, try to make wholeness and all that.
Right. If you feel the fragmentation, then you center here and say, ‘I can see all the fragmentations’—but that is still center.
No, but I am asking whether when there is a center doesn’t it make for fragments?
That I see. I see what you are saying. But I am trying to take it from what is the experience when there is fragmentation. There doesn’t seem to be a center.
Right. But it doesn’t feel like a center.
No. Contradiction. Sir, when there are fragments, I am aware of the fragments because of contradiction.
Because opposing factors.
You mean by contradiction also conflict…
Conflict. Out of contradiction there is conflict. Then I am aware that there are fragments. I am working in an area of fragments.
Right. But then, yes, and then I am not aware of the fact that I have in fact got a center. That is the self deception, right there.
No, I think—don’t you think, if I may suggest, that where there is conflict then only you are aware of a conflict, of contradiction. That is, one is aware only when there is conflict. Right? And then the next awareness, the next movement is… conflict arises out of fragmentation—opposing elements, opposing desires, opposing wishes, opposing thoughts.
But are you saying that these oppose first before one is aware, and then suddenly you are aware through the unpleasantness or the pain of the opposition that the conflict is unpleasant?
Yes, conflict is unpleasant and therefore one is aware that…
…that something is wrong.
Something is wrong, not just simply wrong but wrong with the whole thing.
Whole thing, of course. Sir, after all self consciousness, when you are aware of yourself only when there is pain, or intense pleasure, otherwise you are not aware of yourself. So fragmentation with its conflict brings this sense of I am aware, I am in conflict—otherwise there is no awareness. I wonder if I am…
Yes. Go ahead. You are saying that the very fragmentation itself breeds the center.
Breeds the center.
And the center has bred the fragmentation, so it is like a…
Yes, back and forth.
Well, would you say that thought in itself before there is a center breeds conflict? Or is there thought before a center?
Is there thought—oh, thought before the center.
Yes. I mean one view is to say that the center and thought are always co-existent and one breeds the other.
One breeds the other, quite.
Or the other view is to say that there might be thought first and that produces conflict and then that produces a center.
Let’s go into that a little bit.
[Laughs] That’s a good one.
Does thought exist before conflict?
Before a center.
Before the center. One is aware of the center only when there is conflict.
Yes, because that comes in apparently to try to bring about wholeness again, you see, to take charge of everything.
The center tries to take charge, or try to create wholeness.
Yes, to bring all the factors together.
But center itself is a fragment.
Yes, but it doesn’t know that.
Of course, it doesn’t know but it thinks it can bring all the fragments together, make it a whole. So Dr. Bohm is asking the question, which is: did thought exist before the center, or the center existed before the thought?
Or the two together?
Or the two together.
Right, right. Or he is also asking: does thought create the center.
Thought creates the center…
That would be the action, the very creation, a sort of an after-effect of the thought. In other words, is the organism—is the production of thought the very cause of a center? That I think carries it because then…
Yes, let’s be clear on this point too. Are we asking, did thought create the center?
Yes, and was there therefore a kind of thought before a center?
Yes. Thought before the center. That’s it.
Which came into contradiction.
Yes, thought created the center, or the center existed before the thought…
Or else the center was—that is a view which is common, I mean people think the center is me who was first.
“Me” is the first.
And then I began to think, right?
Yes. No, I think thought exists before the center.
Yes, then we have to ask the question—I don’t know if we want to get into it at this minute—but then we have to ask the question of why is there thought, what is thought?
Oh, that is a different matter. Do we go into that?
That might be a long story.
Yes that’s a long story. I don’t think that’s for now. But we have to get at that.
Let’s stay with what we started with.
Yes, we started out asking: can we talk about the wholeness of life? How can one be aware of that wholeness if one is fragmented? That is the next question. You can’t be aware of the whole if I am only looking through a small hole.
Right. But on the other hand in actuality you are the whole.
Ah! That is a theory.
Is it? That’s where…
A supposition, yes.
Of course, when you are fragmented how can you assume that you are the whole?
Well, that is a wonderful… I mean that is an issue because how am I to know I am fragmented?
That is what we are asking.
When are you aware that you are fragmented? Only when there is conflict.
Right, that’s right.
When there are two opposing desires, opposing elements of movements, then there is conflict, then you have pain or whatever it is, and then you become conscious.
Right, but at those moments it often times happens that you don’t want to let go of the conflict. It is like you feel your fragmentation…
No, that is a different matter. That is a different matter.
What we are asking is: can the fragment dissolve itself, and then only it is possible to see the whole. You cannot be fragmented and then wish for the whole.
Then it is merely…
All you really know is your fragmentation.
That is all we know.
That is right.
Therefore, let’s stick to that and not beat round the bush and say, “Well, let’s talk about the whole,” and all the rest of it.
Yes. And the supposition that there is a whole may be apparently reasonable but as long as you are fragmented you could never see it. It would be just an assumption.
You may think you have experienced it once, but that is also an assumption, because you don’t… that is gone already.
Absolutely. Quite right.
You know, I wonder if there is not a tremendous pain or something that goes on when I am aware of my fragmentation. That is the loneliness somehow…
Look sir, can you be aware of your fragments? That you are an American, that I am a Hindu, you are a Jew, Communist—you just live in that state. You don’t say, ‘Well, I know I am a Hindu’. It is only when you are challenged, it is only when, say, ‘What are you?’, then you say, ‘Yes, I am an Indian’, or a Hindu, or an Arab.
When the country is challenged then you have got to war.
Right. So you are saying that I am living totally reactively.
No, you are totally living in a kind of—what?—miasma, confusion.
From one piece to the next, from one reaction to the next reaction.
Reward and punishment in that movement. So can we be aware, actually now—now—of the various fragments? That I am a Hindu, that I am a Jew, that I am an Arab, that I am a Communist, that I am a Catholic, that I am a businessman, I am married, I have responsibilities, I am an artist, I am a scientist—you follow?—this various sociological fragmentation.
As well as psychological fragmentation.
Right, right. That is exactly what I started with. Right. This feeling that I am a fragment, this feeling that… that is where I get absorbed, is being a fragment…
Which you call the individual.
That I call important, not just the individual.
You call that important.
Right. That I have to work.
That it’s significant.
So can we now in talking over together, be aware that I am that? I am a fragment and therefore creating more fragments, more conflict, more misery, more confusion, more sorrow, because when there is conflict it affects everything.
Can you be aware of it as we are discussing?
I can be aware as we are discussing it a little.
Aha, not a little.
That’s the trouble. Why can’t I be aware of it?
No, sir. You are only aware of it when there is conflict. It is not a conflict in you now.
But is it possible to be aware of it without conflict?
That is the next thing, yes. That requires quite a different…
How will we consider this different approach?
Quite a different approach.
Well, I was thinking of looking at one point that the importance of these fragments is that when I identify myself and say, ‘I am this’, ‘I am that’, I mean the whole of me. In other words the whole of me is rich or poor, American, or whatever, and therefore it is all-important because it is the whole. I think it seems that the trouble is that the fragment claims that it is the whole, and makes itself very important.
Right, takes up the whole life. This is life.
Then comes a contradiction and then comes another fragment saying it is the whole.
Look what is happening in Northern Ireland, the Arab world, the Middle Eastern world, the Muslim and the Hindu—you know this whole world is broken up that way, outside and inside.
Me and you.
Yes, me and you, we and they, and all the rest of it.
But I mean that is the difference between saying we have a lot of different objects in the room which are separate and so on, which we can handle.
That is a different thing.
There is no problem there. But if we say, ‘I am this, I am wholly this,’ then I also say, ‘I am wholly that and I am wholly that.’
You are bringing in something different there though, that is exactly how it is that we come to believe in these fragments. Because we look at objects and we say they are separate things, therefore I am a separate thing.
I question that, sir. Say for instance, the Arab and the Israeli—are they aware that they are… I am an Arab, I want to fight that somebody else who is not? Or I have an idea—you follow?—idea.
What do you mean? An idea that I am an Arab?
But the idea is that that is very important as well. I am totally an Arab.
Yes, I am totally an Arab.
It is all-important. That is the form of the idea, isn’t it?
And now somebody else has the idea I am a Jew, that is all important, therefore they must destroy each other.
Impossible to… Quite. And I think the politicians, the religious people are encouraging all this.
But they are also running by fragments…
Because they are fragmented themselves. You see that is the whole point. People who are in power, being fragmented, sustain the fragmentations.
Right. The only way to get into power is to be fragmented.
Well, he says: it is all-important that I should be a politician, successful and so on…
This movement into fragmentation, almost, it seems to be caused by something. It seems to be…
Is this what you are asking: what is the cause of this fragmentation? Right?
Yes. Right. What is the cause of the fragmentation, what breeds it?
That’s very simple.
What sucks us into it?
No, what brings about fragmentation?
Now, you know what brings it about, when the mother and child start—when the child separates from the mother. Right?
Biologically as well as…
e child starts, able to walk, and the child can walk away and then he runs back, and then he runs back and he looks back, he says, is she still there? Gradually moves away. Now the mother that is not able to let go says, ‘Hey, come back here!’
Then scares the child to death because the child thinks I can’t do it, if she says I can’t do it, I can’t do it.
Quite. We are asking something very important, which is: what is the cause of this fragmentation?
Yes. That is why I was getting into that—there is some cause there, I mean it begins there, I have got to hold on to something.
No. Just look at it, sir. What has brought fragmentation in you?
Well, my immediate response is the need to hold on to something.
No, much deeper than that. Much more. Look at it. Look at it. Let’s go slowly at it.
Not immediate responses. What brings this conflict which indicates I am fragmented, and then I ask the question, what brings this fragmentation. What is the cause of it?
Are you saying there is a conflict and there something happens that causes fragmentation in the conflict? Is that what you are saying?
No, he is saying the fragmentation causes the conflict.
Is the cause of the conflict. Then what is the cause of the fragmentation? Right. That is important.
Why are you and I and the majority of the world fragmented? What is the source of it?
It seems we won’t find the cause by going back in time to a certain happening.
I am not looking for genetics, I am looking for right this second. I come upon a, to put it in these worlds, it seems to do that, there is a focussing or a holding on to something inside my movement.
Sir, look at it as though not from Dr Shainberg’s point of view, just look at it. Put it on the table (laughs) and look at it objectively as it were. What brings about this fragmentation?
No, no, much more.
Maybe the fragmentation causes fear.
Yes, that’s it, that’s it. Why am I a Hindu?—if I am, I am not a Hindu, I am not an Indian, I have no nationality, but suppose I call myself a Hindu. What makes me a Hindu?
Well, conditioning makes you, would make you a Hindu.
Which is, what is the background, what is the feeling or what is it that makes me say ‘I am a Hindu’? Which is a fragmentation, obviously.
What makes it? My father, my grandfather, generations and generations after ten thousand or five thousand years, said ‘You are a Brahmin’. And I say ‘All right, I am a Brahmin’.
You don’t say ‘All right, I am a Brahmin’—you say ‘I am a Brahmin’.
I am a Brahmin.
Right. That is quite different. You say, ‘I am a Brahmin’ because it’s like you… they work on you that way.
I am a Brahmin like you saying, ‘I am a Christian’.
Which is what?
That is tradition, conditioning, sociology, history, culture, climate, everything.
But behind that, what is that?
Behind that is man’s…
No, no, don’t theorise. Look at it in yourself.
Well, that gives me a place, an identity, I know who I am then, I have my little niche.
Who made that niche?
Well, I made it and they helped me make it. I am co-operating in this very…
You are not co-operating. You are it.
I am it! Right, but I mean—that’s right, the whole thing is moving toward putting me in a hole.
So what made you, the great great great arrieres, grandparents made, created this environment, this culture, this whole structure of human existence, with all its misery and with all the mess it is in, who, what has brought it about? Which is the fragmentation with all the conflict and all the…
The same action then is now.
Now. That is all I am asking.
Yes. The same action that makes man now, right now.
The Babylonians, the Egyptians, we are exactly the same monkeys now.
Well, this is what I was getting at in the beginning. This all gives me my second-hand existence.
Yes. Proceed. Let’s go into it. Let’s find out why man has bred, or brought about this state, and which we accept—you follow?—gladly or unwillingly.
Love it. Love it.
We are of it. I am willing to kill somebody because he is a communist or a socialist, or whatever it is. Exactly what is going on in Northern Ireland, in the Middle East.
Well, everywhere, I mean, you know, doctors, lawyers…
Of course, of course. The same problem.
My sense of it is that it stops me, it closes me off, it keeps the movement, you know, it’s like, the tree doesn’t get in. If I know who I am then I don’t look at the tree.
Yes, sir, but you are not answering my question.
I have some answers, but I…
Is it the desire for security, biological as well as psychological security?
You could say yes.
If I belong to something, to some organisation, to some group, to some sect, to some ideological community, I am safe there.
But that is not clear because you may feel safe but…
I feel safe there. But it may not be safety.
Yes, but why don’t I see that I am not really safe, you see?
Because I am so—what? It’s coming, you go into it, it’s coming.
I don’t see it.
No. Just look. I join a community…
Right. I am a doctor.
Yes, you are a doctor.
I get all these ideas.
You are a doctor, you have a special position in society.
Right. And I got a lot of ideas of how things work.
You have a special position in society and there you are completely safe—safe.
You can malpractice and all the rest of it, but you are very protected by other doctors, the other organisations, a group of doctors who are all… You follow?
You feel secure.
But it is essential that I shouldn’t enquire too far to feel secure, isn’t it? I mean in other words, I must stop my enquiry at a certain point.
I am a doctor—finished.
I don’t ask many questions about it, but if I started to ask questions…
…then you are out!
Then if people, say, don’t ask questions, that’s…
If I begin to ask questions about my community and my relationship to that community, my relationship with the world, my relation to my neighbour, I am finished—I am out of the community. I am lost.
To feel safe, secure, protected, I belong.
I depend wholly in some sense. If I don’t have that then I feel the whole thing is sunk.
This is good. You see, not only do I depend but every problem that I now have is with reference to this dependency. I don’t know from nothing about the patient, I only know about how the patient doesn’t fit into my system.
So that is my conflict.
[Laughs] He is the victim.
That’s right, my victim, right (laughs). He loves that…
It is still not clear why I should go on with it. You see, in other words, as long as I don’t ask questions I can feel comfortable, but I feel uncomfortable and I do ask questions, very deeply uncomfortable because the whole of my situation is challenged. But then if I look at it more broadly I see the whole thing has no foundation, it is all dangerous. In other words this community itself is in a mess, it may collapse. Or even if the whole of it doesn’t collapse, you can’t count on the academic profession anymore, you know, they may not give money for universities…
Everything is changing so fast that you don’t know where you are. So why should I go on with not asking questions, you see?
Why don’t I ask questions? Because fear.
Fear, but that fear is from fragmentation.
Of course. So is it, the beginning of this fragmentation takes place when one is seeking security?
But why, why wouldn’t it…
Both biologically and as well as psychologically. Primarily psychologically, then biologically.
But isn’t the tendency to seek security physically built into the organism?
Yes, that’s right. It is. I must have food, clothes, shelter. It is absolutely necessary.
And when that is threatened—say if I questioned the communist system altogether, living in Russia, I am a non-person.
But let’s go a little bit slower here. Why would… You are suggesting there that in my need for security biologically I must have some fragmentation.
No, sir. Biologically fragmentation takes place, the insecurity takes place when psychologically I want security.
I don’t know if I am making myself clear. Wait a minute. That is, if I don’t psychologically belong to a group, then I am out of that group.
And then I am insecure.
I am insecure.
And because the group gives me security, physical security, I accept everything they give me, say to me.
But the moment I object psychologically to the structure of the society or the community I am lost.
I mean this is an obvious fact.
Well, you’re suggesting then that the basic insecurity that we live in is being conditioned, the response to this, the answer to this is a conditioned fragmentation.
Partly, and that the movement of fragmentation is the conditioning.
Sir, look, look: if there was no fragmentation, both historically, geographically, nationally, no nations, we would live perfectly safely. We would all be protected, we would all have food, we would all have—you follow?—houses, there would be no wars, we’d all one. He is my brother; I am him, he is me. But this fragmentation prevents that taking place.
Right. So you are even suggesting more something there—you are suggesting that we would help each other.
Naturally I would help—obviously!
We are going around in a circle though still, because you say…
I am not going in circles, I want to get back to something which is, if there were no nationalities, no ideological groups, and so on and so on, we would be perfectly… I mean we would have everything we want, instead of spending on armaments, all the rest of it, proper education, all that. That is prevented because I am a Hindu, you are an Arab, he is a Russian—you follow?—all that is prevented. We are asking, why does this fragmentation take place? What is the source of it? Is it knowledge? Yes, sir!
It is knowledge, you think, you say…
Is it knowledge? I am sure it is (laughs), but I am putting it as a question.
It certainly seems to be.
No, no—look into it. Let’s find out.
What do you mean by knowledge, what are you talking about there?
The word ‘to know’. Do I know you? Or I have known you. I can never say, ‘I know you’—actually. It would be an abomination to say, ‘I know you’. I have known you. Because you in the meantime are changing, you have all your—you follow?—there is a great deal of movement going on in you.
And to say ‘I know you’, means I am acquainted or intimate with that movement which is going on in you. It would be impudence on my part to say, ‘I know you’.
That’s right. Because not only that, that would be denying your effect on me which is causing me, which is a change from knowing you, from being with you…
So knowing, to know, is the past. Would you say that…
Yes, I mean what we know is the past and…
Knowledge is the past.
I mean the danger is that we call it the present. The danger is that we call knowledge the present.
That is just it.
In other words if we said the past is the past, then wouldn’t you say it needn’t fragment?
What is that? Sorry.
If we said, if we recognised, or we acknowledged that the past is the past, it is gone, therefore what we know is the past, then that would not introduce fragmentation.
That wouldn’t, quite right.
But if we say what we know is what is present now, then we are introducing fragmentation.
Quite right, quite.
Because we are imposing this partial knowledge on the whole.
So would you say knowledge is one of the factors of fragmentation? Sir, that is saying an awful—you follow?
What does it mean?
It is a large pill to swallow!
But also you are implying there are other factors.
Yes. [Laughs] And that may be the only factor.
Yes. But I think we should look at it this way, that people have hoped through knowledge to overcome fragmentation…
…to produce a system of knowledge that will put it all together.
Like in Bronowski’s Ascent of Man through knowledge: emphasising knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. Is that not one of the major factors, or perhaps the factor of fragmentation? My experience tells me I am a Hindu, my experience tells me I know what god is.
Wouldn’t we better say that confusion about the role of knowledge is what’s the cause fragmentation? In other words knowledge itself, you see, if you say knowledge is always the cause…
No, I said, we began by asking…
Yes, I mean let’s make it clear.
Of course, of course. Sir, that is what we said yesterday in our talk: art is putting things in its right place. So I put knowledge in its right place.
Yes, so we are not confused about it any more.
Right, right. You know I was just going to bring in this rather interesting example: a patient of mine was teaching me something the other day and she said, I have the feeling that as a doctor the way you operate is, she says, there is a group of doctors who have seen certain kinds of patients, and if they do ‘X’ to them they will get certain kind of effects and they achieve things. She says you are not talking to me, you are doing this to me hoping you will get this result. [Laughter]
That is what you are saying.
No, a little more, sir, than that. We are saying both Dr Bohm and I, we are saying, knowledge has its place.
Let’s go into that.
Like driving a car, learning a language, and so on.
We could say, why is that not fragmentation, we could to make it clear, you see that, in other words, if we drive a car using knowledge that is not fragmentation.
No, but when knowledge is used psychologically…
One should see more clearly what the difference is. That is, the car itself, as I see it, is a part, a limited part and therefore it can be handled by knowledge.
You mean, it’s a limited part of life.
Of life, yes. But when we say I am so and so, I mean the whole of me, you see, and therefore I am applying a part to the whole. I am trying to cover the whole by a part.
When knowledge assumes it understands the whole…
…then begins the mischief.
But it is often very tricky because I am not explicitly spelling out that I understand the whole, but it is implicit by saying I, or everything is this way, or I am this way.
It implies that the whole is this way, you see. The whole of me, the whole of life, the whole of the world.
What Krishnaji was saying, I mean like, ‘I know you’, that is how we deal with ourselves. We say, ‘I know this about me’, rather than being open to the new event. Or even being aware of the fragmentation.
Yes, but I am saying about you then I shouldn’t say I know all because you are not a limited part like a machine is—that’s what’s implied. You see the machine is fairly limited and we can know all that is relevant about it, or almost all anyway—sometimes it breaks down.
But when it comes to another person that is immensely beyond what you could really know. The past experience doesn’t tell you the essence.
Are you saying, Dr. Bohm, that when knowledge spills over into the psychological field…
Well, also in another field which I call the whole in general. You see sometimes it spills over into the philosophical field and man tries to make it metaphysical, the whole universe.
That is, of course, I mean that is purely theoretical and that has no meaning to me personally.
But I mean that is one of the ways in which it does that, you see. It goes wrong. Some people feel that when they are discussing metaphysics of the whole universe that is not psychological, it probably is, but the motives behind it are psychological, but some people may feel that they are making a theory of the universe, not discussing psychology. I think it is a matter of getting the language.
Well, I mean you see this with… what you are saying, or what he is saying, can be extended to the way people are. They have a metaphysics about other people: I know all other people are not to be trusted.
You have a metaphysics about yourself saying, I am such and such a person.
Right. I have a metaphysics that life is hopeless and I must depend on these…
No, all that I can say is… we can say is: we are fragmented—that is a fact—and I am aware of those fragmentations… fragmented mind, there is an awareness of the fragmented mind because of conflict.
You were saying before, we have got to have an approach where we are not aware just because of that.
Yes. That’s right.
Are we coming to that?
Coming, yes. So from there conflict: I say, what is the source of this conflict. The source is fragmentation, obviously. Now, what brings about fragmentation? What is the cause of this, behind it? We said, perhaps knowledge.
Knowledge, psychologically I use knowledge. ‘I know myself’, when I really don’t know, because I am changing, moving. Or I use knowledge for my own satisfaction. For my position, for my success, for becoming a great man in the world. I am a great scholar, I have read a million books and I can tell you all about it. It gives me a position, a prestige, a status. So is that it, that fragmentation takes place when there is a desire for security, psychological security, which prevents biological security…
You say, right. And therefore security may be one of the factors. Security in knowledge used wrongly.
Or could you say that some sort of mistake has been made, that man feels insecure biologically, and he thinks, you know, what shall I do, and he makes a mistake in the sense that he tries to obtain a psychological sense of security by thinking… by knowledge.
By knowledge, yes.
By repeating himself, by depending on all of these structures.
One feels secure in having an ideal.
Right. That is so true.
You see but somewhere I always asks why a person makes this mistake. You see in other words if thought… or if the mind had been absolutely clear, let’s say, it would never have done that. Isn’t that right?
If the mind had been absolutely clear, but we have just said that there is biological insecurity. That is a fact.
But that doesn’t imply that you have to delude yourself.
But that implies that the organism—no, that’s right, but it implies that that has to be met.
Yes, but the delusion doesn’t meet it.
Right. That’s the nub of the issue.
Go on further, you can see if you want.
I mean there’s that biological fact of my constant uncertainty. The biological fact of constant change.
That is created through psychological fragmentation.
My biological uncertainty?
Of course. I may lose my job, I may have no money tomorrow.
Now let’s look at that: I may have no money tomorrow. You see that may be an actual fact, but now the question is: what happens? You see, what would you say if the man were clear; what would be his response?
You would never be put in that position.
You mean he wouldn’t get there in the first place.
He wouldn’t have that question.
But suppose he finds himself without money, you see?
He would do something.
He will do something. His mind won’t just go to pieces.
Go in nightmarish circles.
He won’t have to have all the money he thinks he has to have.
But aside from that he won’t go into this well of confusion.
I mean the problem 99% of the time, I certainly agree, is that we all think we need more, we have this ideal of what we should have.
No, sir. We are trying to stick to one point, which is, what is the cause of this fragmentation?
We said knowledge spilling over into the field where it should not enter.
But why does it do so, you see?
Why does it do it? It is fairly simple.
We’ve got another five, six minutes more. It is fairly simple. Go on, sir.
My sense of it is from what we have been saying is, it does it in a delusion of security. It thinks that there is… thought creates the illusion that there is security there.
Yes, but why doesn’t intelligence show that there is no security, you see, I’m not… it’s not clear.
Why doesn’t intelligence show it?
Yes, in other words…
Can a fragmented mind be intelligent?
Well, it resists intelligence.
It can pretend to be intelligent.
Yes. But are you saying that once the mind fragments then intelligence is gone?
But now that…
He said yes…
But now you are creating a serious problem (laughter), because you are also saying that there can be an end to fragmentation.
You see at first sight that would seem to be a contradiction. Is that clear?
It looks like that, but it is not…
All I know is fragmentation.
That is what I have got.
Let’s stick to it and see if it can end. We go through it.
But if you say the fragmented mind cannot, intelligence cannot operate there.
I feel like one answer to your question is that, you know we’ve talked about it in terms of conditioning. I feel like I am a victim, or I am caught by this offering. You offer me, you tell me, ‘Look, old boy, I think this can help you, here is a fragment, come along’ (laughs). And I feel like thought does that, you know, ‘Come’ . My mother or my father says, ‘Look, it is good to be a doctor’, or this one says it is good to go to do this.
Is psychological security more important than biological security?
That is an interesting question.
Go on, don’t make it… We have got five minutes—come to it.
Right. No, well, one thing we are convinced somehow or the other, I think the society…
No, I am asking—don’t move away from the question—I am asking is psychological security much more important than physical security, biological security?
It isn’t but it feels like it is.
No, no, don’t move away from it. I am asking you. Stick to it. To you.
Are you asking, what is the fact…
What is the fact.
I would say yes, that psychological security seems…
Not, now don’t…
What is actually true?
Actually true, no. Biological security is more important.
Biological—are you sure?
No. I’ve turned it around. I think psychological security is what actually I worry about most.
That is what I worry about most.
Which prevents biological security.
Right. I forget about biological security.
No, no. Because I am seeking psychological security in ideas, in knowledge, in pictures, in images, in conclusions, all the rest of it—which prevents me from having biological, physical security for me, for my son, for my children, for my brothers. I can’t have it. Because psychological security says I am a Hindu, a blasted little somebody in a little corner.
No question. I do feel that psychological…
So can we be free of the desire to be psychologically secure?
That’s right. That is the question.
Of course it is.
That’s the nub of it, right.
Last night I was listening to some people about… [???] or one of them was holding—who was the chairman, or what it was—and they were all talking about Ireland, various things. Each man was completely convinced, you know.
That’s right. I sit in on meetings every week. Each man thinks his territory is the most important.
Yes. So we have given… man has given more importance to psychological security than to biological, physical security.
Yes, but it is not clear why he should delude himself in this way.
That is, he has deluded himself—why? Why? The answer is there. Why? We have got two minutes more. We will have to stop…
No, sir, much deeper. Why has he given importance?
He seems to think that—we, not he—we seem to think that is where security is, that that’s most important.
No. Look more into it. The ‘me’ is the most important thing.
Right. That is the same thing.
No, no—‘me:’ my position, my happiness, my money, my house, my wife—‘me.’
Yes. And isn’t it that each person feels he is the essence of the whole. The ‘me’ is the very essence of the whole. I would feel that if the ‘me’ were gone, you know, that the rest wouldn’t mean anything.
That is the whole point. The ‘me’ gives me complete security, psychologically.
But, I mean, it seems all-important.
Yes, because people say, if I am sad then the whole world has no meaning. Right?
It is not only that, but it’s I am sad if the ‘me’ is not important.
No, I don’t… We are saying the ‘me’… in the ‘me’ is the greatest security.
Right. That is what we think.
No, not we think. It is so.
What do you mean, it is so?
In the world what is happening.
That is what is happening. But it is a delusion, which is happening, right?
We will come to that later.
I think that is a good point. That it is so that the ‘me’ is—I like that way of getting at it—the ‘me’ is what is important. That is all that is!
That’s all, psychologically.
Me, my country; me, my god; me, my house; and so on…
It is very hard to let that in, you know…
So it is twelve o’clock, we had better stop.
[Laughs] Well, at least we have got your point.