Either we accept the way of life as it is, with violence and all the rest of it; or we say there must be a different way which human intelligence can find, where violence doesn't exist. That's all. And we say this violence will exist so long as comparison, suppression, conformity, the disciplining of oneself according to a pattern is the way of life. In this there is conflict and therefore violence.
So can you see the fact of violence—the fact not only outside of you but also inside you—and not have any time interval between listening and acting? This means by the very act of listening you are free from violence. You are totally free from violence because you have not admitted time, an ideology through which you can get rid of violence. This requires very deep meditation, not just a verbal agreement or disagreement. We never listen to anything; our minds, our brain cells are so conditioned to an ideology about violence that we never look at the fact of violence. We look at the fact of violence through an ideology, and the looking at violence through an ideology creates a time interval. And when you admit time, there is no end to violence; you go on showing violence, preaching non-violence.
Do not think by merely wishing for peace, you will have peace, when in your daily life of relationship you are aggressive, acquisitive, seeking psychological security here or in the hereafter. You have to understand the central cause of conflict and sorrow and then dissolve it and not merely look to the outside for peace.
With complete attention, what takes place? When you give complete attention to anything—your learning of history or mathematics, looking at your wife or your husband—what takes place? I do not know if you have gone into it—probably most of us have never given complete attention to anything—but when you do, what takes place?
Formally I have condemned violence, I have escaped from it, I have justified it, I have said it is natural. All these things are inattention. But when I give attention to what I have called violence—and in that attention there is care, affection, love—where is there space for violence?
Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence. When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent.
There are so many different kinds of violence. Shall we go into each kind of violence or shall we take the whole structure of violence? Can we look at the whole spectrum of violence, not just at one part of it?…The source of violence is the “me”, the ego, the self, which expresses itself in so many ways—in division, in trying to become or be somebody—which divides itself as the “me” and the “not me”, as the unconscious and the conscious; the “me” that identifies with the family or not with the family, with the community or not with the community and so on. It is like a stone dropped in a lake; the waves spread and spread, at the centre is the “me”. As long as the “me” survives in any form, very subtly or grossly, there must be violence.
Man is all the time trying to become non-violent. So there is conflict between “what is”, which is violence, and “what should be”, which is non-violence. There is conflict between the two. That is the very essence of wastage of energy. As long there is duality between “what is” and “what should be”—man trying to become something else, making an effort to achieve “what should be”—that conflict is waste of energy. As long as there is conflict between the opposite, man has not enough energy to change. Why should I have the opposite at all, as non-violence, as the ideal?
If there was no ideal at all, you would be left with “what is”. Would that make one complacent? Or would you then have the energy, the interest, the vitality to solve ‘what is’? Is not the ideal of non-violence an escape from the fact of violence? When the mind is not escaping, but is confronted with the fact of violence—that it is violent, not condemning it, not judging it—then surely such a mind has an entirely different quality and there is no longer violence.
Now, suppose I am violent. How do I observe that violence, because I want to understand the nature of that violence. I want to go, explore, discover the extraordinary factors that contribute to violence. So how do I observe? First, is violence - please listen to this - is violence different from me? Right? You understand my question? I am asking, is that violence which I see when I say I am violent, is that violence different from me or I am that violence? When you are angry, you are angry. It is not you are different from anger. You are different from anger only when you want to control it, only when you say I must suppress it, but are you actually different, separate from violence. Please, we must go into this very carefully because most people say I am different from that object which I call violence. Is that so? Is the word 'violence' separated - you understand?
When there are two dogmatic beliefs, and each trying to convert the other, oppose each other, it is a form of violence. So are we aware of this factor in our life? And when you become aware of it what are you going to do? Do you say, 'Yes, I am aware of it' but carry on with violence? Therefore it becomes a very serious matter. If one is really to be free of violence, to look at it, to live with it, to understand it, to go into it and see all the multiple forms of violence, totally be acquainted with it - and when you are acquainted with something it flowers and then withers away, you don't have to fight it.
Sir, look: I am violent. I observe it. Because I don't run away from it, I don't suppress it, I don't transform it into something else as non -violence, which is absurd - the transformation of violence into non -violence is stupidity, it has no meaning. So as I am violent, I let it come out - not in action. Let it flower, let it grow, as you watch it, it grows and dies. Haven't you done all this? That is, sir, when you are angry, at that moment of anger you are not aware, you are full out. Then a second later you say, 'I have been angry'. Right? So you have divided yourself as not being angry and that you have been angry. So there is a division between the observer who says, 'I have been angry, and I must not be angry'. Right? So the division brings about conflict, saying, 'I mustn't be angry, how am I to get rid of my anger' - and so on and so on, so on. Whereas if you are aware of anger as it arises and let it come out non-verbally (laughs), non-actively, not say, 'I am going to hit you' - let it flower, let it come out, and you will see it disappears very quickly and withers away. And if you do it properly you are never angry again,