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It is very important to find out what is really sacred, what is really holy, if there is such a thing at all.
You know, man has spoken of this throughout the centuries, seeking something that is imperishable, that is not created by the mind, that is holy in itself, something that is never touched by the past. Man is always seeking that. And man, seeking that, not finding it, has invented religion, organized belief. A serious man has to find out, not through some rock, temple or idea, but he has to find what is really, truly, everlastingly sacred. If you cannot find it, you will always be cruel, you will always be in conflict.
Perhaps you may come upon it, not through the speaker, not through his words, but you may come upon it when there is discipline through the understanding of disorder. When you watch, see what is disorder; the very seeing of disorder demands attention. Please do follow this.
You know, for most of us, discipline is a drill, as it is for the soldier, drill, drill from morning until night so that there is nothing but slavery to a habit. And that is what we call discipline; suppression, control - that is deadly, that is not discipline at all. Discipline is a living thing, it has its own beauty, its own freedom. And this discipline comes naturally, when you know how to look at a tree, how to look at the face of your wife, your husband, when you can see the beauty of the sunset. To see, to look at that sky, the glow of it, the beauty of the leaves against that glow, the orange colour, the depth of that colour, the swiftness of that colour - see it! To see it you must give your whole attention to it. And to give your whole attention has its own discipline; you don't want any other discipline. Attention is a living thing, moving and vital.
This attention itself is virtue. You need no other ethical standard, no morality (anyhow you have no morality, except on the one hand the morality that the society which you have built tells you, and on the other hand what you want to do, and neither has anything whatsoever to do with virtue). Virtue is beauty and beauty is love, and without love you have no virtue and therefore no order.
So again, if you have done it now, as the speaker is talking about it, looking at that sky with your whole being, that very act of looking has its own discipline and therefore its own virtue, its own order. Then the mind reaches the highest point of absolute order and therefore because it is absolutely orderly, it itself becomes the sacred. I do not know if you understand this. You know, when you love the tree, the bird, the light on the water, when you love your neighbour, your wife, your husband, without jealousy, that love that has never been touched by hate, when there is that love, that love itself is sacred, you have no other thing that can be more so.
So there is that sacred thing, not in the things that man has put together, but which comes into being when man cuts himself off entirely from the past, which is memory. This does not mean that man becomes absent-minded, he must have memory in a certain direction, but that memory will be found to be part of this whole state in which there is no relation with the past. And that cessation of the past can only be when you see things as they are and come directly in contact with them - as with that marvellous sunset. Then out of this order, discipline, virtue, there comes into being love.
Love is tremendously passionate and therefore it acts immediately. It has no time interval between the seeing and the doing. And when you have that love you can put away all your sacred books, all your gods. And you have to put away your sacred books, your gods, your everyday ambitions, to come upon that love. That is the only sacred thing there is. And to come upon it, goodness must flower. Goodness, you understand Sirs?, goodness can only flower in freedom, not in tradition. The world needs change, you need tremendous revolution in yourself. The world needs this tremendous revolution - not economic, Communist, bloody revolution that man has tried throughout history, that has only led him to more misery. But we do need fundamental, psychological revolution, and this revolution is order. And order is peace; and this order, with its virtue and peace, can only come about when you come directly into contact with disorder in your daily life. Then out of that blossoms goodness and then there will be no seeking any more. For that which is, is sacred.
The Awakening of Intelligence
3rd Public Talk Madras
14th January 1968
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