"Q: So we have to have a purpose in life?
A: Why do we look for a purpose or meaning. Why?
Q: Why do we? You see, that is the question. Why do we?
A: You tell me, why do we? Why should there be any meaning? The question
“How to live?” is totally unrelated to the functioning of this living
organism. It is living all the time. It doesn’t have to ask the question
“How to live?” “How to live?” is superimposed on the living organism.
Q: And the search for meaning is absurd?
A: Obviously you do not see any meaning. You do not see any purpose in
life. Obviously you don’t see. (Laughs) I don’t mean only you. I mean
people. To me to ask that question is so silly, so meaningless, so
absurd — “What is the meaning of life?” It is not life that we are
really interested in but living. The problem of living has become a very
tiring business — to live with somebody else, to live with our
feelings, to live with our ideas. In other words, it is the value system
that we have been thrown into. You see, the value system is false.
Q: ….like glue all over.
A: We are trying to fit ourselves into that value system which is
totally false. It is falsifying you. But you are not ready to accept
that it is falsifying you. You throw a lot of energy into this business
of fitting yourself into that framework or value system.
Q: How does one get to that point wherein he or she is willing to accept that this is false?
A: ‘How’ implies that you want to know from somebody….
Q: You mean asking the question….
A: That is adding momentum to that — to know, to know, and to know. That
is why we always ask that question, ‘How?’ ‘How?’ means you want to
know. What is this ‘you’, as you experience yourself? The ‘you’ as you
know yourself is a product of the momentum of that knowledge that is
passed on to us. It has this question which you think is a very
intelligent question. Through your demand for an answer to that question
it wants to know how to add momentum to that knowledge.
Q: So it is a trick. It is falsifying us.
A: It knows that by asking the question it can add momentum to itself.
It is not ‘you’, because ‘you’ don’t exist. There is no individual there
at all. Culture, society, or whatever you want to call it, has created
‘you’ and ‘me’ for the sole purpose of maintaining its own continuity.
But, at the same time, we are made to believe that you have to become an
individual. These two things have created this neurotic situation for
us. There is no such thing as an individual, and there is no such thing
as freedom of action. I am not talking of a fatalistic philosophy or any
such thing. It is this fact that is frustrating us. The demand to fit
ourselves into that value system is using a tremendous amount of energy,
and there is nothing we can do to deal with the living problems here.
All the energy is being consumed by the demands of the culture or
society, or whatever you want to call it, to fit you into the framework
of that value system. In the process, we are not left with any energy to
deal with the other problems. But these problems, that is, the living
problems, are very simple.
Q: In what way?
A: To survive in this world is not a difficult problem, you see. But
what is demanding is the value system. Our effort to fit ourselves into
that value system is consuming a tremendous amount of energy.
Q: But what happens if you just don’t fit yourself into the value system?
A: I am not in conflict with this society. You seem to be in conflict
with this society, but I am not, because it cannot be any different,
since I have found out that there is no way I can bring about a change
in it. You want to bring about a change in the world. You see, the
problem is a problem of relationship. It is just not possible to
establish any relationship with anything around you, including your near
and dear ones, except on the level of what you can get out of the
relationship. You see, the whole thing springs from this separation or
isolation that human beings live in today. We are isolated from the rest
of creation, the rest of life around us. We all live in individual
frames. We try to establish a relationship at the level of “What do I
get out of that relationship?” We use others to try and fill this void
that is created as a result of our isolation.
We always want to fill this emptiness, this void, with all kinds of
relationships with people around us. That is really the problem. We have
to use everything — an idea, a person, anything we can get hold of, to
establish relationships with others. Without relationships we are lost,
and we don’t see any meaning; we don’t see any purpose. This is because
your only interest is to create a purposeful and meaningful relationship
with the individuals and the world around you. Therefore, you want to
understand the reality of the world.
But there is nothing to understand. There is no such thing as reality at
all. I have to accept the reality of the world as it is imposed on me
by the society. Say, I call you a ‘woman’, I call this a ‘bench’, and I
call this a ‘tray’. Otherwise, we will not be able to function in this
world sanely and intelligently. This kind of knowledge can be used only
for the purposes of functioning in this world sanely and intelligently.
Anything you do to understand the reality of the world is not going to
be useful, helpful, or meaningful."
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