One of the first things which everybody should understand. Is that every creature in the universe that is in any way sensitive and in any manner of speaking conscious regards itself as a human being. That is to say. It knows and is aware of a hierarchy of beings above it and a hierarchy of beings below it. If you take such a tiny creature as a fruit fly which lives only a few days. It is aware of all sorts of weird little animals and objects and spores floating in the atmosphere which we don’t even notice unless we’ve got a microscope around very few people have. And it criticizes them as being inferior animals and all that sort of thing whereas human beings are things that it doesn’t comprehend and that it is as much outside its. Intellect as a question is outside ours. And we see these far off objects floating in the heavens and we have only the vaguest idea of what they may be actually we may all be some kind of. Atoms within the hair on somebody’s nose. In another dimension, and all these galaxies being the constituent elements who knows? But there is, I think, a fundamental principle that everybody must understand in order to know what is the meaning of the Tao, or the Chinese sense of the course of nature and that is the principle of relativity. It’s absolutely fundamental to an understanding of Taoist philosophy of relativity. That is to say that wherever you are, and whoever you are and whatever. But you are you’re in the middle. You know pig-in-the-middle, that’s the game. And you have you see just in the same way as when you stand say on the deck of a ship and you can see a horizon all around you to exactly the same distance you’re in the center of a circle because your senses extend a certain direction in all directions and therefore give you the impression of being in the middle. Everything in the world feels like that, and also it has its own kind which look natural to it you see spiders and hydras, and sea urchins and so on don’t look very natural to us. We say well, I wouldn’t want to look like that. But they say when they see us. Well what kind of an awful thing is that and what a lot of nonsense it does. You see if your dog watches you when your typewriting. Look at you and…Human beings, especially cats. Dogs are dogs have tried to catch on to human beings in a sort of a funny way, but cats look at you and think you are out of your mind You’re absolutely crazy what do you sit there all day for feverish Lee pecking away at a typewriter say or doing something busy like that when you could sit in the car up and and purr. You just, from the cats, cats point of view you don’t understand what life’s about all.
But all cats and cat company cats in cat company they feel that they are people. Because the definition of a person is where you look from. And of course that is the meaning of the very interesting Buddhist idea. You can only become a Buddha, that is to say you can only become enlightened, liberated and aware of your unity with the universe, from the human position. And Buddhism calls itself the Middle Way, because it is the way for someone in the middle and that’s everyone. So there is believe it or not, a form of yoga, ways of liberation, for worms, for fruit flies for snails, for spiders, for birds, for everything. And they you see in their situation. Feel just as cultured as we can possibly think. And they have their distinctions and their snobberies, just in the same way that we do. Because you see, they dig all sorts of things that we don’t even notice. We think a person is cultured because they play the piano or the violin or they read poetry and they have a lot of big library and they have paintings all around, and they have a fancy house and so on and we say well there’s a person of culture and we can see at once that this is really some rather elegant human being. But when you get down into the world of fishes, they have exactly the same thing only instead of depending on collecting a lot of books and things like that it is the precise way, the very subtle wiggles of the tail. That little tremors of vibration that makes one fish a very superior fish as compared with other fish and all the other fish look at that one and say oh by to be like that what a genius. To be able to do just that little extra thing see because they’re very sensitive, even airplanes in formation can’t begin to do what birds and fish can do in in the communal swirling dances that they do. Now, let me just interject something here that is rather important. Biological existence is such that you have the klil to live. And vegetarians have no way out because plants also are forms of life and in to the degree that they are aware and they are aware to a certain degree they think they’re human. And when you chew up plants, you are making a bit very painful experience for cabbages and carrots and things like that, and you can’t get out of it.
And the only possible solution of the dilemma that we are in ethically, that we have to eat in order to to live, that being is killing. The only possible solution to this dilemma is to reverence food and to cook it as well as possible and enjoy it to the fore there is no other ethical response that is in any way across the situation and also you must as a human being remember that you aren’t the only pebble on the beach. That you belong just as much as the fish and the cows and the apples. You belong to a mutual eating society. And something in the end is going to eat you.
Now, human beings are not as a rule eaten by large creatures we’ve got rid of them. Things like lions and tigers that chew up on human beings and not many of them around we are eaten instead by tiny creatures, and that the morticians are a very vicious group of people because they are trying to deprive all those microorganisms of the proper human food. When they bury them in formaldehyde and encase them in concrete things with complicated bronze caskets where instead of giving the worms a ball, they just do nothing, they just rot there. Becoming, becoming slowly more and more sort of attenuated and parchment like. Instead of. Continuing into the flow of the course of life, which is the proper thing to do to make an act of respect to the earth from which you have gained all these life, and give yourself back to it when you die. After all, it’s only courteous. And this keeps the thing the thing running.
So we should start a campaign at once to abolish the whole mortician business and put it in an entirely new lines, where dead human beings are buried in a great fields, about three feet underground which are left for a long time until all stinks and everything and vanished and this is the most beautiful soil for growing corn and lettuce and artichokes and vines and everything beautiful. So you go back into the cycle.
But now, here is a very strange thing. That every creature therefore, which feels that it is human. And which knows that it’s there in the same way as you know your here. Experiences being here as constituting a sort of blockage. Now, practically there are very few human beings that don’t feel this. And I’m sure there are very few creatures that don’t feel it in some way too. The sensation of a certain tension, which constitutes the feeling of I-ness, of thereness, of being here. Because after all every creature is a particular form. Everything is individual. Not only you as a turtle organism standing here but all the components cells of your body. Each one of them has some sort of a feeling of its own. And it is individual. You can look at a microscope at the right level of magnification and you can see that thing there. With its own little life, and if you examine the stream of your blood you’ll find it full of all kinds of organisms that are having all sorts of conspiracies and games and plots and eating each other and doing these things that like we do. Only, we really realize that we wouldn’t be healthy as a total organism unless there were all these wars and fights and plots and politics going on between the various cells in our blood. But from their point of view, you see, they feel a little bit put-out. Because they’re being organized. And we’re in the same situation because very slowly, the human beings on the surface of the planet are realizing themselves into a total planetary organism with an electronic nervous system. You see, in science fiction which was published round about the1920s. It was always expected future human beings would have enormous heads because they would have very big brains and they would be very wise.
It didn’t work that way. What happens is that the human race is building a brain outside its body. That is to say an interlocking electronic network of telephonic, television, radionic communications, which is rapidly being interlocked with computers, so that you will, within a few years, be able to plug your own brain into a computer. You will have a little gadget here, behind the hearing aid and that will be into the integrated with your brain in such a way that you can plug in right here. That will only be an intermediate stage, because just in the same way as when we thought that all communications by electricity had to go through wires and then we got rid of the wires and got radio and television.
So in exactly the same way we will eventually get rid of telephones and radio and television and we’ll communicate by some entirely new method that is at present called E.S.P.. But that will mean, that absolutely nobody has a private life anymore. Everybody will read automatically everybody else’s thoughts you won’t be able to defend you’ll have no defenses everybody else will see right through you. And some people will protest and say well this is terrible there’s no privacy anymore that means there’s no me. Well that’s what’s happening to your own selves in your own neurons and they objected at some time in the course of the evolution we’re getting our private life taken away we’re being organized into a body. And we’re doing the same thing. Only we got to try and see if we can be clever about it, and that is to say to do two things at once. To have this tremendous openness to each other whereby I don’t care if you read my thoughts and you don’t care if I read yours, but at the same time nevertheless each one of us retains a peculiar individuality. Almost in the same way as nothing could be more unlike a stomach than a heart. And nothing could be more unlike a kidney than pituitary gland. And nothing could be more unlike intestines than a rib cage. You see, there’s a lot of differentiation inside the body. Despite the fact that it is a completely. An organism functioning all together.
So then, the problem though, as I said is that for each individual which is outlined which is a separate thing, or rather I would instead of using the word separate I would like to use the word distinct separate as I use the word means disjointed cut off from, distinct, means a feature of something where an absolutely distinguishable pattern is part of a larger pattern of a whole. So something can be distinct without being separate, in just the same way as back and front can be very different and yet inseparable.
So then, there is then this this sensation of a practically every living being of constituting. A center of tension and of resistance. That is to say, of being a little bit blocked or shall I say of being in the way. Being in one’s own way. Imagine the opposite. Let us suppose for example that you got up in the morning with a feeling of total transparency. There’s no resistance in your organism to the external world. You just float through it. You’re part of it, it’s part of you and just in the same way for example that when you seen if you see well. We were aren’t aware of your arms but if there’s something wrong with your eyes when you see spots in front of you. Then you are looking at your eyes and your eyes are getting in your own way.
So, the Taoist sage Chuang Tzu says, that when clothes fit well. You are not aware of them when your girdle or belt fits properly you are not aware of it good shoes your unconscious thoughts and so in exactly the same way the perfect form of man is unaware of self because he doesn’t get in his own way he is sus in this sense completely transparent. Now, you are thinking I’m trying to sell you a bill of goods. That I’m going to teach you some technique so that you can feel perfectly transparent. And that this is the proper way to feel this is the way you ought to feel I was not that simple.
Point is, to begin with, if you do in and really rather natural way feel alone. And feel a little bit vulnerable. That you’ve got a soft skin and you’ve got a weak heart and you’ve got you know, all those ills that the human body is ere to, going on inside you let’s begin with that. Let’s begin with the way in which we do in fact constitute a sort of block in the middle of things and that fact we heard a bit and through hurting a bit we know we’re here. See, people go very often to extreme measures to know that they’re there. I was in Mexico two years ago, and I trying to find out what was really behind all the blood and gore in Mexican Catholicism. Why they love pictures of Christ that is sold in the little shops where he’s green, and his face is contorted with horror and blood pouring down a crown of thorns with the longest spiky a strong you ever saw sticking in and these crucifixes where they have carefully modeled sauce on them and all that kind of thing and then that Guadalupe these girls. Kneeling walking for a mile right down the avenue to the altar in that thing what is it all about why the answer is quite simply if you hurt, you know you are there. And this is part of the whole meaning of penances, and all sorts of trials that people go through and all kinds of adventures and all sorts of very very difficult massage experiences and so on is that as a result of this, it becomes quite apparent that you do not truly exist. You are there. You are a kind of an obstacle to the flow of life, and as life impinges upon you Wammo, you rebound and you hurt a bit and so you you are there.
Now then, although people cultivate this, they say are in general they rather it would be not that way. We would like to forget our selfs. And so ever so many people say well I want somebody to lose myself in. I want something to belong to. I want to join a religion where I can sort of feel that I take part. I mean something, or I go to the movies to forget myself. I read a mystery story to forget myself. I get drunk to forget myself. Because the peculiar quality of the drug called alcohol is that it turns you off. It makes you increasingly insensitive to pain and to being, and so on, so that you can get a certain vague sense, a rather misty sense of floating. When Gurdjieff had a boy he was training, he was making him wait table one evening and he suddenly before dinner filled him with an enormous amount of vodka. And the boy went around all evening in the sort of floating state and a Gurdjieff said to him afterwards, ‘Now listen. When you can feel like that naturally all the time you’ve learned my discipline.’ But here it, is so as things stand. One ordinarily doesn’t feel that way and therefore takes alcohol or something in order to disappear in order to feel less, this sensation of resisting the world.
Do you know if you study your body and its dynamics, you will find that you are fighting all the time? Most people are some aren’t but most people are fighting the external world all the time. My friend Charlotte Silva often tries an experiment where she makes a person lie down on the floor and says to the now look. The floor is solid and it will hold you up. You don’t have to do anything to stay where you are just lie on the floor. And then. She looks at the person or may touch them slightly and say Do you realize you’re making all sorts of efforts to hold yourself together. Because you’re basically afraid that if you don’t do that you will just go blue there and disappear into a kind of formalist all over the floor but you won’t see your skin your bones your muscle tone us and everything is all there naturally, and it will hold you together there’s nothing to worry about and all you have to do is lie on the floor. And you don’t have to make any special efforts to stay together. But very many people are afraid that they will fall apart or somehow disintegrate if they don’t make efforts to hold themselves together, or else that they will be disintegrated by some outside agency if they’re not constantly on the alert like this particularly if it’s better all around you see to protect themselves.
Now, I’m not a preacher. That’s the most important thing to understand about me. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. But I’m inviting you to become immensely aware of the fact that if you do that at all, that you do it. And that you have therefore that sense of being alone, of being a particular separate form that is unlike any other form on Earth. That’s just you. And concentrate on that. After all, for many people, they define this as their problem. So you ought to be able to feel it without the slightest difficulty because of the driver asking you to feel some transcendental sensation or something of that kind, and it is just a very ordinary sense of being you and being alone.
Now, as you focus on that sensation of distinctness, we’ll even call this one separateness because we do. We have been brought up to feel separate, we have been brought up to feel actually disjoined from the external world although that is pure mythology and doesn’t exist at all. You are as much part of the external world as a whirlpool is part of a stream. But we are brought up not to notice that. But if you’ve been brought up that way, and you don’t notice that you’re as much part of the world as a whirlpool is of a stream, you feel this intense separateness. The thing to do with all feelings that you don’t like, is to experience them as deeply as possible. And go into the inmost depths of loneliness, and indeed that are say the inmost depths of selfishness. Are you selfish? You know, lots of people try to pretend they aren’t. And say well I try not to be but I guess I don’t succeed all the time. And so, Krishnamurti you know is a very devil because he always roots it out he shows all the people who are very good and have the highest ideals and who are doing everything that they are really doing it for the most the same sort of motivation as other people are robbing banks. And only they’re giving it a name so as to conceal it better. See, that’s like culture. Culture is a way of more clever way of concealing the fact that you have to eat. You like the Queen of Spain who are into debt is. The here eight hundred sixty is came in with these enormous skirts and floated in the room. And, you know was sort of coming on like she was an angel. And somebody when they were first invented gave her a present of beautiful silk stockings. A dozen pairs and sent them to the Queen and I magisters Chamberlain replied with a better returning the stocking thing Her ‘Majesty, the Queen of Spades does not have legs.’ light Look ma no legs. I managed to float along as the same because I’m an angel.
So you see it that way in which all kinds of high culture are subtle ways of concealing, and pretending that we do without the sings that the lower classes whether of humans or of animals do see we pretend that we don’t just like you don’t go around crudely taking a bull and banging it on the head with a mallet or sticking a knife through it and tearing it apart and eating it. All the dung from way off from the stockyard. And it comes to us in the butcher shop as a completely neutral looking thing called a steak. Steak has absolutely nothing to do with a cow or steak or something wrapped up packaged like that and they all t-t-t-t down like that and over here they pick up a steak and test it think thinks poor Cow. Like a cow, it doesn’t remind you of one in any way. So that’s culture.