Indifference. Not acting.
Question: Isn't there a great danger of becoming indifferent
if one begins to think like that?
No. Indifference is a form of resistance. If I am indifferent then
I don't have to bother with you, then I can say 'figure
it out for yourself!' Indifference is a kind of wall that
I put around myself. Actually it is not daring to really look.
But, someone who has understood that happiness is not to be found
in things doesn't chase after them. Then indeed a certain
kind of indifference does happen. But this is compensated a hundred
fold by coming closer to the actual source of true things. Because,
finally what is the right inspiration for a relation between us?
That is the love itself. When I am Love itself, then I have nothing
more to gain from you; then I also do not need for you to think
that I'm nice, to love you nevertheless. Love itself is the
force that allows the body, thinking and feeling to do the appropriate
thing. Things do themselves in harmony with the Harmony itself
that I am. As soon as discover that then everything that is laziness
and passivity disappears. That may appear to be indifference, for
example, when I decide to buy a new car. But in fact that indifference
exists only superficially, it is a difference in determining values.
I now know that the real worth is somewhere else. And I discover
that I don't love someone because of his or her beautiful hair,
but because of the love in him or het, that is in fact the same
as the love in me. There are not two loves. There is one love in
persons seem to manifest. Therefore, the indifference, insofar
as it exits, is only on the surface, founded from within through
a deep self-recognition. In the same way the laziness is also only
superficial. Laziness belongs to the body. The body is a heavy
and unwieldy thing, flesh and bones. Let me say it like this, if
seen as an extension of the Known, then life becomes a dance
even if you're sitting on a chair. There is nothing more
left of heaviness, listlessness, unwieldiness and so on.
No, there is no indifference. But, if I am still searching for
things of this world and someone else does not do that then I can
naturally think that the other is indifferent.
It can also happen, in certain cases, that we are less impressed
by someone's suffering. That may be the case when we see
that the suffering is something that is feeding the person. That
is not always so: if there is a tornado that collapses your house
so that you lose your husband and children, that is something
else entirely. But very often the suffering of mankind is something
that people themselves seek and feed. There are very few people
who really want to come out of that, extremely few! Therefore one
must not allow oneself to be intimidated. The criterion is always:
what does that person do with the suffering? Does he really want
out of that or are they perhaps only pity seeking compensation.
Well, don't fall for that, because then you only strengthen the
person in their suffering.
But, for whoever actually asks for your help it is another question;
in that case there can be compassion, because you begin at the
place where the other finds himself. And from out of compassion
you allow them to gradually see who he actually is. Suffering
is always at the level of the personality. When the personality
the suffering also disappears.
For suffering we always need the world. You always suffer from
something, from the loss of somebody or something, or out of fear
of something. But, there is always a connection with something
of the world. Therefore to see what the world is offers a possibility
of actually coming out of the suffering. Not in terms of another
piece of the world, no, but in terms of the Reality, seeing that
the world is nothing other than a reflection of myself. Then suffering
loses its meaning, because suffering can be a way to keep the person
in place. There are people who prefer to remain in suffering rather
than facing an unfamiliar situation.
Question: If you look at life like that, then
what is the point of our actions? Is there any sense then in remaining
W.K.: This question doesn't occur in practice,
and the question also doesn't appear in, what shall I call
it, the philosophical side. It's a question that sometimes
comes up when we think: 'Oh God, what should I do now?' Recognition
of the 'I' means recognizing the One Essence in everything
manifests action. Because, who is acting, who does, who thinks?
The body acts, the body walks, swims, bikes, sits, stands; movement
occurs in the thinking and feeling. Just the very fact that I can
ascertain that, that I can see that, means that I stand apart from
the movement and that I am not the one who thinks, or feels, or
acts. I am always the Knower of that; otherwise I could not recall
these things in my memory.
It's not about whether I will nevertheless still be active:
it's about recognizing that I have never been active. The
body, the senses, thinking and feeling were active, but I wasn't.
A phrase that occurs repeatedly in the shastras, in the classical
Hindu literature, is: 'I am not the doer, I am not the enjoyer'
I am not the one who appears to act, who is active or passive.
and passive are ways of thinking.
The 'not-acting' that especially the Chinese always
come back to ('wu-wei') is the exact opposite of being
lazy. You can be lazy if you identify yourself with an unwieldy,
heavy, body that might, for example, be tired. But 'not-acting' is
to not be identified with everything that does, that is active,
and that is therefore objective. Allow things to do themselves,
allow things to do themselves spontaneously. Even if we had always
learned that I was the one who acted, thought and felt. Seen now,
in the right prospective, I see: it was not I who walked, the body
walked. It wasn't I who thought, but thoughts manifested
When a thought ends I do say: I have thought. But while the thought
was there, while it manifested itself there was absolutely no idea
that it was I who produced these thoughts. Only afterwards,
by means of a cultivated automatism there is a principle that claims
authorship for what happened, while the principal was absent.
We also do not approve in daily life of someone who claims authorship
of a book that they had never written; that by definition he could
never have written, since he is himself a character appearing in
Well, that is one of the functions of the ego: the principle that
after the completion of a body action, the conclusion of a thought
or feeling, comes out of nowhere to say, I have thought, felt,
seen, heard, walked, swum... but that 'I' was completely
absent during the action.
When we thus see it in the right perspective, seeing what is the
object and what is the subject, then we see that action, observing,
thinking and feeling are things that allow themselves to be witnessed
in a completely impersonal way, exactly as clouds passing by in
the sky. Actually it is just as foolish to say, when you are looking
at clouds: 'I am clouding', as it is to say: 'I
Thus, the body will continue to walk, swim, bike, just as always;
the thoughts will continue to come, the feelings will continue
to stream, probably more than before, only you will no longer think
that you are the active one, because you now know that the active
gentlemen or lady that you have made out of it by means of this
foolish combination has no truth. The I-experience was there, because
the I-experience is always present. But I have riveted the I-experience
to all the actions, all the perceptions, all the roles that I play
in life: the housemother, the chauffeur, the professor, the housefather,
and so on; we have all attached strings to them and have said:
I, I, I, I, I.
But in fact, you can see very easily, you don't need to be
a philosopher, that the strings are not correct. The relation between
these actions and me is always: that these things in me, in the
Consciousness, are witnessed in the Known. There, I am completely
I am always and effortlessly the Knower. Even if I am dog tired,
so beat that I can't even undress myself, because I tumble
into bed out of exhaustion, even then I am completely effortlessly
the knower of this situation. Thus, there is nothing that we have
to learn to become the Knower, something we have to acquire or
anything like that. No, I only need to recognize that I cannot
be any different from that. Just as much as water can stop being
wet, or fire can stop being hot, can any one of us even for one
second stop being the 'Knowingness', in which things
All these questions can be solved, or solve themselves when we
look I in the right perspective. The action does itself. I know
that I am not an acting being; I know that I am not a passive being.
I am that in which the ideas of active and passive manifest themselves.
I am the consciousness-essence, the Knowing that in which they
occur. This is true for each one of us, independent of the form
in which it appears. This is the one essence that all and everyone
have in common.