Conversations with people, conversations with self. A conversation is a remarkable indulgence. Given that I love it, I’ve wondered why it is that some conversations result in shouting and bitterness – the sort of squalor that is totally unlikeable. So, in the spirit of loving conversations, I’m indulging in a conversation with myself to ask what it is that keeps interrupting this love affair every now and then.
The point of a conversation is to engage with knowledge. Knowledge, needless to say, belongs to nobody. And it is this absence of exclusivity about it that, at the same time, makes it everybody’s. Therefore, when in a conversation, probing an idea, attempting to arrive at the knowledge of something, if I should succumb to the notion that ‘I am arguing my idea’, as if to suggest I have some ownership that is being compromised if I am disagreed with, I am automatically making a case for pointless fighting and confrontation. The mistaken view that ‘I am protecting knowledge that’s mine and mine alone’ is the most vicious enemy to the spirit of conversing. It is, in fact, the greatest barrier to achieving knowledge.
Now what will this understanding do to me? Will I stop with the futilities? Jiddu Krishnamurti, while speaking on a different concept – the concept of mediation – makes a wonderful suggestion. He says (quoting him in my own words): why do you ask ‘how to meditate’? Why don’t you ask, instead, about what meditation really is? The very pursuit of this question and the eventual dawn of an understanding, the knowledge of what mediation really is, when concepts merge with understanding, this, in itself, is the experience of meditation.
Knowledge of something, I’m gathering now, is nothing but pure understanding. Till an understanding is achieved, we are only engaging with ‘information’, not ‘knowledge’. Therefore, the understanding of the mistaken notion just described is by itself the dismissal of the stupidity I’ve been cuddling with all this while. How very elevating!