What is judgement? How is one to determine the line dividing opinion, and the perception of fact?
It’s a good question. What is fact, and what is opinion? And where is the dividing line between the two? Why do we have opinions? The meaning of that word, opinion, means judgement, evaluation, preconceived concepts, you know, the whole assertive, dogmatic opinions that each one has. Why do we carry so many opinions? Please enquire into this. Why do we have opinions at all? We have opinions about everything. And apparently they are so strong, and we think that is freedom, to have a thousand opinions about everything. That gives you a sense of freedom, at least you think you are free, independence. It’s my opinion, I am right. So we have a thousand opinions.
And what are facts? What is fact? Fact is that which has happened. Right? That which has happened. An incident or an accident is a fact, which took place yesterday. And fact is also what is happening now. Right? What is happening now, you and I are sitting here having a conversation, a dialogue, or a question and answer and so on, that’s a fact. What is not a fact is what may happen tomorrow. Right? Are we coming together in this? What may happen when you leave this place and go off, go off to your car. So fact is that which happened, that which is happening; and fact is not what will happen. That’s clear. What will happen is decided by what is happening now. Right? I wonder if you see this. The future is in the present. Right? The future, what you are now is the future, modified, but basically what you are now. So the future is in the present. Right? And the past is also in the present. Right? So the present contains all time. Please don’t play with this as a theory, it is meaningless. It becomes a slogan if you repeat that, at least it loses its meaning. But if you see that the past has a continuity in the present, and the future is the past modified in the present, the past modified through the present, so the present, the now, contains all time. Right? And if you don’t change now you will be exactly the same tomorrow, slightly modified. So the future is in the present. This is really quite important to understand because what is action? I mustn’t go into that.
So why do human beings cling to opinions and not facts? You can conclude from a fact an opinion. Right? A fact can be made into an opinion, but the opinion is not the fact. I may have an accident in a car and you come along and see it, and have umpteen opinions about it, but the fact is I have an accident. So why do we have opinions at all, about government, about religion, about this, and about that, about literature, about poems, you follow? Why? Is it a kind of game? Is it a kind of wastage of energy? Is it another form of chattering? Which is all a waste of time, waste of energy. Whereas if you stick to facts, which is, what has happened, what is happening, that’s only facts. I am looking at the tree. That’s a fact. Why do I have to have an opinion about that? If I am a lumber merchant, thank god I am not, and I say, that’s a valuable tree, let’s cut it down – that’s a different matter. But to have constant opinions about everything seems to one such a stupid waste of energy and time, you know, it is so useless.
And judgement, the question is: what is judgement? A judge passes a sentence on somebody, criminal, or some innocent man. There was a judge once whom the speaker happened to know. He was high up in law and became a judge. And one morning after many years of judgement, he said, “What am I judging? What is truth? I am passing a judgement about everything according to precedence and so on, what is truth? Unless I find that out judgement has no meaning”. So as was customary in India in those days – about 50 or 80 years ago – he called his family and said, “I am going to withdraw from the world, go off into the forest, into some distant village, meditate and find out.” We are telling you the facts of it, not opinions about it.
After 20 years or 40 years – I have forgotten the exact time – somebody brought him to listen to one of the talks that K was giving and he came to see the speaker afterwards, and he said ,”You know what I have been doing these 40 years? I started out to find truth meditated, did all kinds of things and I see now that I have been mesmerizing myself. I have been living an illusion.” Right? You understand all this? For an old man to acknowledge such statement and say that is a fact, that needs a great deal of perception.
So, What is judgement? What is justice? Is there justice in the world? Please ask this question of yourself. Is there justice in the world? You are born in a good family, money, education, prosperity, success, and the other lives in a small ghetto, no future except poverty, constant struggle. Right? Where is justice in that? The Indians have a very good explanation, the Hindus, which is Karma. You understand? Don’t, please, that word Karma means to act. Not all these things ???? to it. To act rightly, at the now. If you act rightly now, the future is right. So, ought you act mischievously now, you pay for it next day or next life.
Now, is there justice in the world? A crook can employ a clever lawyer and get away with it. This is happening everyday. You are clever, I am not. You are beautiful, I am not. You are extraordinarily alive, I am not. This is facts. So, where is there justice? There is so called legal justice which is totally different from actual justice. Justice can only be found where there is freedom and compassion. Without that freedom and compassion which in its movement is intelligence there is justice. Otherwise, there is no justice in the world. This is, please, not an opinion, not a theory, but when you have this feeling of great compassion which is quite a deep question. Then there is, in that compassion, there is justice.