J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 1st Public Talk 7th July 1968
FROM THE VERY first day and during these gatherings I hope we are going to be very serious. Most of us, I am afraid, have come with a sense of holiday spirit, to look upon the hills and mountains, the green valleys and the flowing streams, to be quiet, to meet friends, to gossip, to have a little fun which is all right but if we are to get any worthwhile meaning out of these gatherings we ought to be very serious from the beginning.
There are tremendous problems confronting us as human beings. Living in this mad and stupid world we have to be serious; and those people who are really serious in their hearts, in their very being not neurotically, not according to any particular principle or commitment it seems to me, have that quality of seriousness which is necessary.
As one observes what is going on in this world the students in revolt, the anxiety of war, the extreme poverty, the racial hatreds and riots, the deplorable satisfaction of the small countries with their monetary position, and so on one feels one does not know what it is all about. One has listened to many explanations, from the philosophers, from the intellectuals, the theologians, the priests, the sociologists, from all the organized bureaucracies and so on. But explanations are not good enough; and even to know the cause of these disturbances does not solve the issue. During these gatherings here, we are going to be individually and humanly responsible; we are going to see if we can understand the problem of our existence, with its turmoil, with its chaos, misery and enormous sorrow, which is both within us and outside.
It obviously behoves us to dispel the darkness which we individually have created in ourselves and in others. That is why it seems to me we ought to be very serious.
You know, there are those people who are serious rather neurotically; they think if they follow a certain principle or belief or dogma or ideology and keep practising it, that they are serious. They are not serious such people they believe and that belief breeds an extraordinary state of imbalance. So one has to be extremely alert to find out what it means to be serious.
One can see that ideologies play a tremendous part in the life of man throughout the world and that these ideologies do separate man into groups the republican and the democrat, the left and the right and so on they divide people and by their very nature these ideologies become 'authority'. Those who assume power in these ideologies tyrannize, democratically or ruthlessly; this is observable throughout the world. Ideologies, principles and beliefs, not only separate man into groups, but they actually prevent co-operation; yet that is what we need in this world, to co-operate, to work together, to act together not you acting in one way, belonging to one group, and I in another. Division inevitably comes about if you believe in a particular ideology whether it is that of the communist, the socialist, the capitalist and so on whatever that ideology be, it must separate and breed conflict.
An ideologist is not a serious man, he does not see the consequences of his ideology. So, to be really serious one has to put away completely, totally, these nationalistic and religious divisions, deny that which is utterly false and perhaps as an outcome of that there might be a possibility of being really and truly serious. We have to build a totally different world a world that has nothing whatsoever to do with the present world of manias and conflicts, of competition, ruthlessness, brutality and violence.
It is only the religious mind that is a truly revolutionary mind; there is no other revolutionary mind, whether calling itself revolutionary from the extreme left or centre, it is not revolutionary. The mind which calls itself left or centre is only dealing with a fragment of the totality and is even breaking that fragment into various other parts; it is not a truly revolutionary mind at all. The really religious mind in the deep sense of that word is truly revolutionary because it is beyond the left, the right and the centre. To understand this and co-operate with each other is to bring about a different social order; and it is our responsibility. If we could put away all these immature, childish things, I think we could be the salt of the earth; and that is the only reason for which we have come together, there is no other reason. You are not going to get something from me, nor I from you. That which is absolutely essential is not possible round an ideology. I think that is fairly obvious, historically and factually. What is going on in the world indicates this, the division and conflict of ideologies; you, knowing of an ideology however superior, however great, however noble cannot possibly bring about co-operation; perhaps it can bring about a destructive tyranny, of the left or right, but it cannot possibly bring this co-operation of understanding and love.
Co-operation is only possible when there is no 'authority'. You know, that is one of the most dangerous things in the world 'authority'. One assumes 'authority' in the name of an ideology, or in the name of God, or Truth, and an individual, or group of people, who have assumed that 'authority', cannot possibly bring about a world order.
I do hope you are listening to all this and are not mesmerized by words, by perhaps the speaker's intensity; I hope you are sharing these things with the speaker.
Authority gives a great deal of satisfaction to the man who exercises it in whatever name he does so he derives immense pleasure and therefore he is the most...! One has to be tremendously aware of such a person; from the beginning of these talks let us be very clear on this one point, at least. Seriousness entails non-acceptance of any authority, including the speaker. There are those who come from the East, unfortunately, who maintain that they have most extraordinary experiences, that they can show the past to another, that they know how to give some word which will help you to meditate most excellently. I do not know if you are caught in those kinds of traps many people are, thousands, millions are. Such authority prevents a human being from being a light to himself. When each one of us is a light to himself then only can we co-operate, then only can we love, then only is there a sense of communion with each other. But if you have your particular authority, whether that authority be an individual or an experience which you yourself have felt, have known, then that experience, that authority, that conclusion, that definite position, prevents communication with each other. It is only a mind that is really free that can commune, that can co-operate.
During these days please do be very wise and not accept anyone's authority, neither your own authority which you have cultivated through experience, through knowledge, through various conclusions that you have reached, nor the authority of the speaker nor the authority of anybody. It is only then when the mind is free really free that it can learn; such a mind is both the teacher and the pupil. It is vital to understand this because it is that we are going into, in all these discussions and talks.
One has to be, for oneself, both the teacher and that which is taught. And that is only possible when there is a sense of observation, of seeing things in oneself, as they are. You know, most of us are so unconscious of ourselves. I do not know if you have observed those people who are all the time talking about themselves, their self evaluation about their position in life you know, 'me first and everything else second'. If there is to be co-operation between us, communication and communion with each other, this barrier of 'me first and everything else second' must obviously disappear. The 'me' assumes such tremendous importance, it expresses itself in so many ways. That is why organizations become a danger, yet we have to have organization. Those who are at the head of the organization, or who assume the power of that organization, gradually become the source of 'authority'. And with such people one cannot possibly co-operate, commune.
We have to create a new world these are not just words, just an idea actually we have to create a totally different kind of world where we as human beings are not battling with each other, destroying each other, where the one does not dominate the other with his ideas or with knowledge, where each human being is actually free, not theoretically. And in this freedom alone can we bring about order in the world. So we are going to unravel the net that we have woven round ourselves which prevents co-operation, which divides us, which brings about such intense anxiety, sorrow and isolation if we can.
It would very marvellous if at the end of these gatherings we could go out and say, 'look I've got it; not that you 'possess' something, but that you for yourself see that you are completely free, become a human being, with vitality, with energy, with clarity, with intensity. So, there it is. Perhaps that is a great deal. But unless we do it we create in the world a great deal of misery, the wars that are going on, for which we are responsible not the Americans, not the North Vietnamese each human being is responsible. And those who may live in this safe country are also responsible; as also we are responsible for the division that is going on in the world, not only ideologically, but religiously. So please, if you can, let us put our mind and heart into this. This does not demand a great deal of intellectual effort intellect has not solved anything; it can invent theories, it can explain; it can see the fragmentation and create more fragments; but the intellect, being a fragment, cannot solve the whole problem of man's existence. Nor can emotionalism and sentimentality do anything; they are also the response of a fragment.
It is only possible to act totally and not in fragments, when we see totally the whole human problem not the fragments. So, what is the problem? What is the total, essential, problem of the human being, which having been understood, having been seen (as you would see a tree, a lovely cloud) then all the other fragments can be resolved? From there you can act. So what is this total perception this total seeing? I am asking, you have to find the answer. If you wait for me to give the answer and you accept it, then it will not be yours, then I become the 'authority', which I abhor. So, what is your response, as a human being living in this world with all the turmoil, with all the disturbances, revolutions, this terrible division between man and man, the immoral society, the religious immorality of the priests, when you see all this spread out before you, and see the agony of man what is your response? How do you act to it? Either you belong to a part, to a fragment and try to convert all the fragments to your particular fragment which is obviously so immature, so meaningless or you see this whole fragmentation and that very seeing gives you a total perception. So, what is to you the essential problem, the essential issue, the one challenge, which, if answered completely, then all the other problems are dissolved, or understood, or can be tackled?
It is quite interesting, is it not, to find out for yourself what the essential issue in life is, not according to the psychologist, the philosopher or theologian, or Krishnamurti, not according to anybody, but to find out for yourself. How will you find out? You may not have thought about it, or if you have thought about it, how will you find that essential demand or issue? Will you ask another? of course not, for when you look in any direction you are looking to 'authority'. What 'authority' says has no reality; you are concerned with the highest issue and this you must find out for yourself. If you are not looking for another to help you to discover what is the central, true issue, then what will you do? How will you find out? Please, this is a very serious question.
First of all, has one ever put such a question to oneself asking oneself if there is one essential thing, in the very understanding of which all other minor issues will be answered? If you have not put it to yourself, I am putting it to you. If you listen to it as I hope you are listening then how will you find out?
How will you find out? Will you find out by thought by thinking about it a great deal, thinking about each problem, each issue, each fragment, getting more and more involved and then coming to a conclusion, saying 'this is the essential question'? Will thought help you? Will an indication, however subtle, will that help? for if you depend on it you are lost again. So thinking about it does not give the answer, does it?
What is the nature of thought? Thought, as one can observe, springs from accumulated memory do watch it in yourselves. You are being challenged what is the essential issue in life? The challenge is new and if you respond to it in terms of thought you are responding from accumulated memory and your response will be from the old. That is fairly clear, is it not?
If I cling to my Hinduism with all its superstitions, beliefs, dogmas, traditions and all that nonsense and something new appears in front of me, or a new challenge arises, I can only respond from the old. Therefore I see that the response of the old is not the way to find out. Right? So I will not depend on thought, whether it is the thought of the most erudite person, or on my own thought. So I put away please do it as we are talking completely, the use of thought to find out. Can one do it? It sounds easy, but actually, can one do it? Which means that there is here a totally new challenge; I look at it with fresh eyes, with clarity. And thought however reasoned, astute, clear, does not bring clarity. So, I see that thought is not the way to discover that which is the essential; so thought does not play any part in this search, in this enquiry. Can you do it? Eh? It means that thought which is old, which is constantly interfering no longer imposes or dominates. Then what takes place? Do pursue this for yourself, please. When you are no longer seeking in terms of your conditioning then you have denied, have you not, all the burden of yesterday.
You know, what I am trying to say is really quite simple. You must find a new way of living, a new way of acting, to find out what love means. And to find that out you cannot use the old instruments that we have. The intellect, the emotions, the tradition, the accumulated knowledge, those are the old instruments. We have exercised those instruments, used them so endlessly and they have not brought about a different world, a different state of mind; they are utterly useless. They have their value at certain levels of existence but they have no value when we are asking, when we are trying to find out, a way of living which is totally new. To put it differently; our crisis is not in the world but in consciousness itself. It is not, how to stop a war, or reform universities, or give more work or less work and more pay and so on, on that level there is no answer; any reform gives more complication. The crisis is in the mind itself, in your mind, in your consciousness. And, unless you respond to that crisis, to that challenge, you will add, consciously or unconsciously, to the confusion, the misery and to this immensity of sorrow.
Our crisis is in the mind, in our consciousness and we have to respond to it totally. What is the true response, the essential issue? Obviously, as we have seen, thought cannot help us there; which does not mean we become vague, dreamy, dull. When you no longer use thought, to find out for yourself what the essential issue in life is, then what has taken place in the mind? Do you understand my question are we communicating with each other? Do say yes or no. To communicate, to commune with each other, we must be at the same level at the same time with the same intensity. It is like love and if you say yes, it means that you have put away, for the time being, thought as an instrument of discovery. Then you and the speaker are on the same level. We both are intense to find out and you are not waiting for me to tell you. When you tell somebody, 'I love you', either you say it casually and do not mean it, or you say it with intensity, with a depth and with a quality of urgency and if the other person is rather indifferent, is looking in another direction, then communion between the two ceases. This communion in only possible when both are intense, not casual, not holding back. You know, when you are both generous you understand it does produce an extraordinary intensity; the giver and the receiver cease to exist.
So, what do you think, what do you feel, what do you sense, is the essential issue in life?
Shall we leave this question until Tuesday morning? Do you want time to think it over to discuss it with other people to sit under a tree or in your room and let it come to you? If you are looking to time to help you, time is not going to help you time is the most destructive thing.
Questioner: You said that thought is a product of memory. Now I quite realize that most of my thoughts are very much conditioned, but I'm not quite sure there is no possibility for other thought which might not be conditioned by memory.
Krishnamurti: Is there any thought which is not conditioned?
Is there? Or, is it that all thought is conditioned? Obviously, all thought is the response of memory, the response of accumulated tradition, knowledge, experience.
What do you feel is the essential issue in life? Let us talk it over for a few minutes together.
Questioner: To create harmony.
Krishnamurti: Where outside or inside, or both? How can one create harmony outside if one is not harmonious inside? The harmony inside is the first thing, not harmony outside. Is that the essential issue? Or, could it be that harmony is a result and not an end in itself? It is, it happens. It is like being very healthy and going out for a walk. But to seek harmony as an end in itself is that possible? One has to find harmony in oneself; for this one has to make tremendous enquiry into oneself, the contradictions, the efforts, the discipline all that is involved in it. Is that the essential question? You say the essential question may be harmony, but it may be pleasure. Please listen to what we have just said. We have said that the essential question for most people may be the urge for and the continuity of and the strengthening of pleasure; pleasure being the pleasure derived from security, from sexual experience; it is deliberate, not a thing in itself. I do not know if you are following this. I derive pleasure in doing something the doing gives me pleasure; therefore the doing from which I derive pleasure is important; pleasure is not in and of itself, but results from the act of something. So, is that the challenge, is that the essential question?
Look, please, look at the world, look at all the things that are going on the extraordinary technological advancement, the wars, the affluent society and the poverty, one nation fighting another nation for its security, for its glory, and so on and so on all that is going on, it's there in front of you. If you look at it objectively, as you would look at a map, you would have the answer which is, to look.
Questioner: The essential challenge or essential issue, is the responsibility of relationship.
Krishnamurti: The responsibility of relationship is that it?
Questioner: It's only part of it.
Krishnamurti: Yes, again it is a fragment. Relationship, what does that mean to be related to people, to individuals, to be related to the world, to nature, to everything that is happening? How can one be related to everything that is happening not just to your wife or husband only but to everything that is happening in the world; how is that possible if you are isolated, if all your thought, your activity, your business, your words, are isolating you which is to say, 'me first and to hell with everybody else'?
We will have to stop for today. But do be with this question, give your mind and heart to see the world as it is, not as you think it should be, but actually as it is. When you see it clearly, the very seeing may give you the answer.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 2nd Public Talk 9th July 1968
IT IS IMPORTANT to understand what co-operation is and when to co-operate and when not to co-operate. To understand the state of mind that will not co-operate one also must learn what it means to co-operate; both are important. Surely, most of us co-operate when there is self interest, when we see profit or pleasure or gain in co-operating; then we generally do co-operate, we put our hearts and our minds into it; we give ourselves over to a commitment, to something that we believe in, with that authority, with that ideal, we co-operate. But also, it seems to me, it is very important to learn when not to co-operate; most of us are unwilling, when we are in a mood to co-operate, to find out what it is not to co-operate; the two go together really. It is important to understand that if we co-operate round an idea, round a person, if we take a stand about something round which we co-operate, then there ceases to be co-operation. When interest in that idea, in that authority, ceases, we break away from it and then try to co-operate with another idea or with another authority. All such co-operation, surely, is based on self interest. And when that co-operation, which is self interest, no longer brings any profit, gain or pleasure, then we cease to co-operate.
To understand when not to co-operate is as important as to understand when to co-operate. Co-operation really must come out of a totally different dimension; that is what we are going to talk about presently.
We asked, when we last met here, 'what is the essential question, the essential issue, in human life'? I do not know if you have gone into it, if you have thought about it. But what do you think is really the central issue in human life as if you have gone into it, if you have thought about it. But what do you think is really the central issue in human life as it is lived in this world, with all this turmoil, chaos, misery, confusion, with people trying to dominate each other and so on and on? I wonder what to you is the central issue or the only challenge that must be responded to when you actually see what is taking place throughout the world, the conflict of various kinds, the student and political conflict, the divisions between man and man, the ideological differences for which we are willing to kill each other, the religious differences which beget intolerance, the various forms of brutality and so on? Seeing all that in front of us actually not theoretically what is the central issue?
The speaker will point out what the central issue is please do not agree or disagree. Examine, look at it, see whether it is true or false. To find out what is true one must look objectively, critically and also intimately. One must look at it with that personal interest that you give when you are undergoing some crisis in your life, when your whole being is challenged. The central issue is the complete, absolute, freedom of man first, psychologically or inwardly, then outwardly. There is no division between the inner and the outer; but for clarity's sake one must first understand inward freedom. One must find out whether it is at all possible to live in this world in psychological freedom, not neurotically retiring to some monastery, or secluding oneself in an isolated tower of one's imagination. Living in this world, that is the only challenge one has freedom. If there is no freedom, inwardly, then the chaos begins and there are the innumerable psychological conflicts, oppositions, indecisions, lack of clarity, lack of deep insight, which obviously expresses itself outwardly. Can one live in this world in freedom belonging to no political party, neither communism nor capitalism, belonging to no religion, accepting no authority outwardly? One has to follow the laws of the country (keeping to the right or the left when you are driving) but the decision to obey, to comply, comes from inward freedom; the acceptance of the outer demand, outer law, is the acceptance from an inward freedom. That is the central issue and there is no other issue.
We human beings are not free, we are heavily conditioned by the culture we live in, by the social environment, by religion, by the vested interest of the army, or politics, or the ideological commitment to which we have given ourselves over. So, being conditioned we are aggressive. The sociologists, the anthropologists and the economists explain this aggression. There are two theories: either you have inherited this sense of aggressive spirit from the animal or the society which each human being has built impels you, compels you, forces you, to be aggressive. But the fact is more important than the theory; it is irrelevant whether aggression is derived from the animal or from society. We are aggressive, we are brutal, we are not capable of looking at and examining impartially another's suggestion, view or thought. Being conditioned, life becomes fragmentary; life, which is the everyday living, the everyday thoughts, the aspirations, the sense of self improvement which is such an ugly thing that is all fragmentary. This conditioning makes each one of us a self-centred human being, fighting for his 'self', for his family, for his nation, for his belief. And so ideological differences arise; you are a Christian and another is a Muslim or a Hindu. You two may tolerate each other, but basically, inwardly, there is a deep division, contempt, one feels superior and all the rest of it. So, this conditioning not only makes us self-centred but also in that very self-centredness there is the process of isolation, of separation, of division and this makes it utterly impossible for us to co-operate.
One asks, is it possible to be free? Is it possible for us as we are, conditioned, shaped by every influence, by propaganda, by the books we read, the cinemas, the radios, the magazines all impinging on the mind, shaping it to live in this world completely free, not only consciously, but at the very roots of our being? That, it seems to me, is the challenge, is the only issue. Because if one is not free, there is no love; there is jealousy, anxiety, fear, domination, the pursuit of pleasure, sexually or otherwise. If one is not free one cannot see clearly and there is no sense of beauty. This is not mere argument, supporting a theory that man must be free; such a theory again becomes an ideology, which again will divide people. So, if to you that is the central issue, the main challenge of life, then it is not a question of whether you are happy or unhappy that becomes secondary whether you can get on with others or whether your beliefs and your opinions are more important than those of another. All those are side issues which will be answered if this central issue is fully, deeply, understood and answered. If you really feel that that is the only challenge in life seeing the actual facts around you and the actual facts inside yourself, how narrow, petty, small we are, anxious, guilty, fearful if you see that hanging on to other people's ideas, opinions, judgments, worshipping public opinion, having heroes, examples, breeds fragmentation and division if you yourself have seen very clearly the whole map of human existence with its nationalities and wars, the divisions of gods and priests and ideologies, the conflict and the misery and the sorrow if you yourself see all this, not as given by another, not as an idea, not as a something to be aspired to then there is a complete inward sense of freedom, then there is no fear of death, then you and the speaker are in communion, you and the speaker can communicate with each other. Is it at all possible, we can then go into it step by step? But if to you that is not the main interest, that is not the main challenge and you ask if it is possible for a human being to find God, Truth, Love and all the rest of it, you are not free, then how can you find anything; how can you explore, take a voyage, if you carry with you all that burden, all that fear that you have accumulated through generation after generation? That is the only issue; is it possible for human beings, you and me, to be really free?
Perhaps you might say that we cannot be free from physical pain. Most of us have had physical pain of some kind or other and if you are really free you will know how to deal with that pain. But if you are frightened, not being free, then disease becomes an astonishingly burdensome thing. So, if you and the speaker see this clearly not that the speaker is imposing that as an idea, or influencing you, or because of his emphasis you also unconsciously or consciously accept it then there will be communication between us. Please do see the importance of that; if you also see the truth of it, then we two together can find out whether it is at all possible to be completely, wholly, free. Can we start from there? As we begin to examine and understand the issue, the enormous implications, the nature and the quality of it will become more clear. But if you say, 'it is not possible' or, 'it is possible', then you have ceased to enquire, ceased to feel your way into it. So, if I may suggest, do not say to yourself, 'it is possible', or, 'it is not possible'. There are those intellectuals and others who say, 'it is not possible, therefore let us condition the mind better, let us brainwash it first and then make it comply, obey, follow, accept, both outwardly technologically and inwardly so as to follow the authority of the state, of the guru, of the priest, of the ideal' and so on and so on. And if you say, 'it is possible', that is just an idea, it is not a fact; most of us live in a vague, non-factual, ideological world. A man who is willing to go into this question deeply must be free to look, he must be free from saying to himself, 'it is possible', or, 'it is not possible'. So, to examine the question we begin with freedom,. freedom is not at the end.
Here is the question, whether it is possible for a human being, you, an individual, living in this world, going to the office, or keeping a house, having children and so on and on, living in a very complex society, living intimately in a relationship, whether it is possible to be free? Is it possible to live, a man with a woman, in a relationship in which there is complete freedom, in which there is no domination, no jealousy, no obedience and therefore a relationship in which perhaps there is love? Now, is this possible?
How can one see anything clearly the trees and the stars, the world and the society which man has created, which is yourself if there is not freedom? If you come to it, if you look at it with an idea, with an ideology, with fear, with hope, with anxiety, with guilt and all the rest of the agony, obviously you cannot see.
If you see, as well as the speaker, the importance of being completely free from fear, from jealousy, anxiety, free from the fear of death and the fear of not being loved, from the fear of loneliness and the fear of not becoming successful, famous, achieving, you know, all the fears if for you this is the central issue then we can start from there. Complete freedom is the only issue in human existence, for man has sought freedom from the very beginning of time, only he has said 'there is freedom in heaven, not on earth', each group, each community, has its different ideology of freedom. Discarding, putting aside, all that, we are asking, if, living here, now, it is possible to be free? If you and I see this common factor as the only challenge in life then we can begin to find out for ourselves in what manner to approach it, how to look at it, how to come by it. Shall we start from there?
First of all, is there a system please think this out together is there a system, a method? Everybody says there is a method, do this, do that, follow this guru, follow this path, meditate this way you follow a system, a gradual, step by step achievement, a mould into which you fit, hoping at the end you are going to come to this extraordinary freedom which they all promise. So, that is the first thing one has to enquire into, not verbally but actually, so that if it is not a fact you will break it down and never under any circumstance accept a system, a method, a discipline. Please see the importance of the words which we are using. A system implies the acceptance of an authority who gives you the system and the following of that system implies discipline, doing the same thing over and over again, suppressing your own demands and responses in order to be free.
Is there truth in this whole idea of a system? Follow this carefully, both inwardly and outwardly. The communist promises Utopia and the guru, the teacher, the saviour says, do this thing; see all the implications of it. We don't want to make it too complex at the beginning it will become quite complex as we go on but if you accept a system, whether it be in a school, in politics or inwardly, then there is no learning, there is no direct communication between the teacher and the student. But when there is no distance between the professor and the student, then they are both examining, discussing and there is freedom to look and to learn. If you accept a rigid regime laid down by some unfortunate guru and they are very popular at the present time, throughout the world. and you follow it, what actually has taken place? You are destroying yourself in order to achieve the freedom promised by another, handing yourself over to something which may be utterly false, utterly stupid, having no reality in it at all. So one must be very clear about this right from the beginning; if you are very clear, you have discarded it completely, you will never go back to it. You understand, you no longer belong to any nation, to any ideology, to any religion, to any political party; they are all based on formulas, ideologies and systems that hold out promises; no system, outwardly, is going to help man. On the contrary, systems are going to divide people, that is what has always been happening in the world.
And inwardly, to accept another as your authority, to accept the authority of a system, is to live in isolation, in separateness, therefore there is no freedom.
So, how does one understand and come by freedom naturally for it is not something which you grope after, clutch at, or cultivate: when you cultivate something it is artificial. If you see the truth of this, then all systems and methods of meditation have no value at all; therefore you have broken down one of the greatest factors of conditioning. When you see the truth, that no system is ever going to help man to be free, when you see the truth of it, you are already free of that tremendous falsehood. Now are you free of that, not tomorrow, not in days to come, but now, actually? We cannot go any further until everyone of us understands this, not abstractly, not as an idea, but actually sees the fact of it, for when you see the fact that it has no value, it is gone, finished. Can we discuss that, not as an argument for and against, but actually look at it, examine it, talk it over together, as two friends to find out the truth of it?
Do you understand what we are doing? We are seeing the factors of conditioning. Seeing, not doing something about it. Seeing it, is the very doing of it. Right? If I see an abyss I act, there is immediate action. If I see something poisonous I do not take it, it is finished, the non-action is instantaneous. So do we see this fact that one of the major conditioning factors is this acceptance of systems, with all the authority, with all the nuances involved? Can we discuss it, or has the speaker overwhelmed you, I hope not?
Questioner: It is very easy to follow you verbally, in words; in ideas it is not very difficult...
Krishnamurti: ...but to actually shake off the acceptance of systems is quite another matter: Isn't that right, Sir? What do you mean, Sir, when you say, 'I follow you verbally, clearly?, Do you mean, we understand the words you are speaking, hear the words, and nothing else which means, what? You are listening to words and obviously you can listen to words that have no meaning whatsoever. The question is, how is it possible to listen to the words so that at the same time the very listening is the action? One says, 'I intellectually understand what you are talking about the words are clear, perhaps the reasoning is fairly good, somewhat logical' and so on and so on 'I understand all that intellectually, but the actual action does not take place I am not free of the acceptance of systems, completely'. Now, how is this gap between the intellect and the action to be bridged? Is that clear? I understand, from the words, intellectually, what you have said this morning, but there is no actual freedom derived from that understanding; how is this intellectual concept to become action, instantly? Now, why is it that we think we understand intellectually? Why do we place intellectual understanding first? Why does that become dominant? You understand my question? I am sure you all feel you understand intellectually, very well, what the speaker is talking about, then you say to yourself, 'how am I to put that into action?' So understanding is one thing and action is another, then we are battling to bridge the two. But is there understanding, at all, intellectually; it may be a false statement which becomes a block, a hindrance? You see, look, watch it carefully, for that becomes a system you follow? the system which everybody uses, 'intellectually I understand' and it may be utterly false. All that we mean is, 'I hear what you are talking about', hear the vibrations of those words pass through my ears and that is all, nothing happens. It is like a man or a woman who has plenty of money and who hears the word 'generosity' and feels vaguely the beauty of it yet goes back to miserliness, to ungenerosity. So, do not let us say, 'I understand', do not let us say, 'I have grasped what you are talking about' when we have merely heard a lot of words. Then, the question is, why do you not see the truth that no system outwardly or inwardly is going to bring freedom, free man from his misery? Why do you not see the truth of it, instantly? That is the problem, not, how to bridge the gap between the intellectual grasp of something and the putting of it into action. Why do you not see complete truth of this fact what is preventing you?
Questioner: We believe in the system.
Krishnamurti: We believe in the system! Why? That is your conditioning. Your conditioning dictates all the time, it prevents you from seeing the truth of one of the major factors of life, which conditions man to accept the system, the class difference, the system of war and the system that promises peace, which in turn is destroyed by nationality which is another system. Why do we not see this truth is it because we have vested interest in the system? If we saw the truth of it we might lose money, we might not get a job, we would be alone in a monstrously ugly world. So, we consciously or unconsciously say, 'I understand very well what you are talking about but I cannot do it, good morning' and that's the end of that; that would be most honest.
Questioner: Sir, for us to communicate either with you or each other we have to be in movement and movement takes energy. The question is, why is it that sometimes we can bring up this energy and sometimes we cannot?
Krishnamurti: Now as we are listening to this question, why do you not see the truth of this fact that systems are destructive, separative? To see it you need energy, why do you not have the energy now, to see it, now, not tomorrow? Is it that you have not the energy to see it now because you are frightened, unconsciously, deep down, is there not a resistance to it because it means you have to give up your guru, you have to give up your nationality, you have to give up your particular ideology and so on and so on? Therefore you say, 'I understand intellectually'.
Questioner: The system prevents you from seeing the truth of the matter.
Krishnamurti: Which is true. The system educates you, establishes you, gives you a position, therefore you do not question the system, either outwardly or inwardly. A communist, well-placed in the communist field will not question the system, because in the very questioning it would be destroyed for him tyranny is important, both outwardly and inwardly. But that is not the question we are asking.
Why is it, as you are listening, you do not have the energy to look? To have energy to look you must be attentive, you must give your mind and your heart to the looking why don't you?
Questioner: What do you say to the man who is afraid to look?
Krishnamurti: You cannot force him to look, obviously. You cannot cajole him. You cannot promise that if he looks he will get something. You can say 'do not bother to look, but be aware of your fear', 'do not bother to look at this factor of the systems that have been developed through centuries, but be aware of your fear'. But he may well say 'I do not want even to be aware, I do not want even to touch it, go near it'. Then you cannot help, because he himself is preventing himself from looking, because he thinks that by looking he will lose his family, his money, position, job all the rest of it which means he will lose security. He is frightened to lose his security. But look at what is taking place, for it is all just an idea you follow? he may never lose his security, something else may take place. Thought says, 'be careful, do not look' thought creates fear. Thought prevents him from looking, saying, 'if you do look you may create such con- fusion in your life' as though he is not living in confusion now! So thought begets fear and prevents the seeing of the truth that no system on God's earth, or, in the world of any guru, saviour or commissar, is going to free you.
Questioner: Perhaps a person cannot realize fear because he knows not what it is?
Krishnamurti: Oh, well, if you do not know what fear is then there is no problem, then you are free even the poor birds are frightened. That man has accepted systems as inevitable is one of the major blocks in the human mind. These systems have been created by man in his search for security. The search for security through systems is destroying man which is obvious when you see outwardly what is taking place and the same thing is happening inwardly my guru, your guru, my truth and your truth, my path and your path, my family and your family; it is all preventing man from being free. Being free gives then a totally different meaning to life, sex may have a totally different meaning, then there will be peace in the world and not this division between man and man. But you have to have the energy to see, which means giving your heart and mind to look not looking with eyes full of fear.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 3rd Public Talk 11th July 1968
WE LIVE IN A world that is completely broken and fragmented, a world in which there is the constant struggle of one group against another group, one ideology against another, one nation against another, one class against another and so on. Technologically there has been great advance, yet there is more fragmentation than ever before. And as one observes, factually, what is going on one sees that it is absolutely essential for man, that is, each one of us, to learn how to co-operate. We cannot possibly work together in anything it does not matter if it is about the new school, or the relationship with one another, or to end the monstrous wars that have been going on if each individual, if each human being, is isolating himself in an ideology, with his life based on a principle, a discipline, a technique, a belief, a dogma; when there is such basis there cannot be co-operation. That seems to me to be so eminently obvious that there need be no discussion about it. And, we were enquiring as to whether it is at all possible to break down all these values that one has deliberately built against others, whether it is at all possible for man to be free.
We were saying that freedom, both outwardly and inwardly, cannot be brought about through any system, whether it be political or economic, communist, or capitalist, nor through any organized religion, or by following a particular little group, separated from others. We went into that sufficiently the other day. We said, further, that freedom is not to be come by through any philosophy, through any intellectual theory. So we are going to examine, this morning, the possibility of each one of us being actually free from any system or method it is one of the most complex things to understand.
When we talk about systems we mean not only the outward following of a belief, a guru, a teacher, of a particular organized religion, and so on, but also the following of a habit of thought, living according to a certain inner belief, dogma or principle, which all form a kind of system. One has to ask, why is it that man insists on a system? Firstly, why do you and I, inwardly, want a system and secondly, why an outward system? Why do you want a system a system being a tradition, a discipline, a habit, a set of grooves which the mind follows? Why? If we discard one set of grooves then we follow another.
We said, peace or love or beauty is not possible unless there is complete freedom. We said that it is obviously not possible to be free, totally, completely, if inwardly, psychologically, we follow a method, a system, or a particular habit which we have cultivated, perhaps for many years or many generations, which has become tradition. Why do we do this? I hope I am making the question clear. The tradition may be of yesterday, or a thousand years. It is tradition to believe that you are a Catholic or a Protestant. It is a system when you say 'I am a Frenchman' and when you belong to a particular group or think according to a particular culture. Why we do this? Is it that the mind is constantly seeking security, wanting to be safe, certain? Can a mind that is constantly searching out security for itself, psychologically, ever be free? And if it is not free can it ever see what is true, can it ever see what is true through a system or tradition that promises the eventual beauty, the incalculable state of mind? Do please let us think it over, or rather let us go into it. Do not, if I may suggest, do not merely listen to a lot of words. To say, 'intellectually, I understand' is such a false statement. When we say we understand intellectually, we mean, we hear a lot of words of which we understand the meaning. But to understand means also immediate action; not, first there is understanding and later, perhaps many days after, there is action. You see the significance of the particular problem; you see that freedom cannot possibly be when there is any pursuit of the acceptance or the obedience of any particular ideology or tradition. If you see that, actually, not verbally, then there is action, you drop it immediately. But if you say 'I understand what you are talking about verbally' that is merely an avoidance of the fact.
Why is it that we want security, psychologically? There must be physical security food, clothes and shelter that is obvious. But why is it that the mind seeks certainty, demands a structure which becomes a system that will give an assurance to it? Why? And why does the mind constantly dwell upon its own security, upon its own safety, upon its own certainty? Can a mind that is certain about anything, psychologically, ever be free? which does not mean that the mind must always be in a state of uncertainty. This raises a problem of duality. Conflict in any form is a waste of energy; when there is a duality there is conflict and that, in essence, is a complete waste of energy. When the mind is seeking certainty it must inevitably create its own opposite obviously. When my mind is constantly searching out a state in which there will be no trouble, no disturbance, no conflict, it must inevitably run away to the opposite, to trouble and disturbance and conflict. There is uncertainty and the demand for certainty, there is a conflict between the two. And this conflict, in which most of us are caught, is a waste of energy. So, why does the mind seek certainty? waste of energy. But if you had listened to that noise without resistance, that is, if you had given your complete attention to it, it would not have affected you at all, there would not have been noise in conflict with a state in which there is no noise. (I wonder if you are catching all this?).
We are asking, why is it that the mind always seeks an image, a formula, assuring a state of certainty which becomes the system? Though the mind is constantly seeking safety, a sense of security and permanency, we never ask if there is such a state at all. We want it, we demand it, but is there such a state? I want a permanent relationship with my friend, with my wife and the demand for such permanent relationship is the system, is the tradition, is the structure which is going to establish in that relationship a sense of permanency.
I am asking myself, 'why can the mind not live freely, why does it hold on to formulas and systems?' Obviously it is afraid and it wants some image, some symbol, some formula, or a system, which it can hold on to. (Please do observe it in yourself.) And when it holds on to something desperately, it is not only afraid of losing it, but that very holding on, that very fear of losing, is creating its own opposite. There is a struggle between the desire for certainty and the fear of not being certain, there is a battle going on.
The mind can enquire if there is, in life, psychological permanency; it can try to find out if such a state is at all possible. Or, may it not find that life is a constant movement, a state in which the new is always taking place? But the mind cannot see the new because it is constantly living in the past, the past which is the system. When you say 'I am a Christian', or 'I am a Hindu', it is the past which speaks and cannot see anything new. And life may be something extraordinary in its very movement, the very movement which is the new, which we discard. This movement is freedom.
There is only one central issue, crisis, or challenge for man, which is, that he must be completely free. As long as the mind is holding on to a structure, a method, a system, there is no freedom. Can that whole structure be completely abandoned, immediately? (You understand the question?) The conditioning of a mind that has been going on for many years or many centuries, that very conditioning is the system, the tradition, the habit and so on. As long as the mind is caught in that, it can never be free. And, this freedom is not at the end, it is not a question of eventually getting free; there is no such thing as 'eventually' getting free, that is to say, through a discipline, through a formula 'becoming' free. The formula or the system only emphasizes the conditioning only in different ways and there is no freedom. So the question is: is it possible for a mind that is so heavily conditioned to be completely free from this conditioning, immediately, because if not, this conditioning will continue to go on in different ways? Can we proceed from there?
One is born as a Christian, as a Catholic; or one belongs to one of the many branches of Protestantism. One is conditioned from childhood, believing in a Saviour, in priests, rituals, one God you know, all the rest of it. Or, you are a communist, brought up in communism, conditioned by what was said by Lenin or Marx. You know, I was laughing to myself to see how easily we are caught by words: the communist substitutes the word 'Lenin' and his philosophy for the word 'Jesus' and his philosophy. We are so easily caught in a net of words. We are conditioned and the challenge, the crisis in the whole of consciousness, is that man must be free; otherwise he is going to destroy himself.
Can the mind put away all its conditioning so that it is actually, not verbally or theoretically or ideologically, but actually free, completely? That is the only challenge, that is the only issue, now or ever. If you also see the importance of that, then we can go into this question as to whether the mind can uncondition itself. Can we proceed from there? Is it possible? In this question several things are involved. First of all who is the entity who is going to uncondition the conditioned mind? You understand? I want to uncondition myself, being born as a Hindu or brought up in a particular part of the world, with all the impressions, cultures, books, magazines, what people have said and what they have not, such constant pressure has shaped my mind. And I see it must be totally free. Now, how is it to be free? Is there an entity which is going to make it free? Man has said, there is an entity; they call it the Atman in India, the soul or the grace of God in the occident, or this or that, which, given an opportunity, will bring about this freedom. It is suggested that if I live rightly, if I do certain things, if I follow certain formulas, certain systems, certain beliefs, then I will be free. So, firstly it is posited that there is a superior outer form or agency, that will help me to be free, that will make the mind free if I do these things right? But 'If you do these things' is a system, which is going to condition you and that is what has happened. The theologians and the theoreticians and the various religious people have said, 'do these things, practice, meditate, control, force, suppress, follow, obey' then at the end, that outer agency will come and bring a certain miracle and you will be free; see how false that is, yet every religion believes in it in a different way. So, if you see the truth of that, that there is no outer agency, God what you will that is going to free the conditioned mind, then the whole organized religious structure, of priests with their rituals, with their mutterings of meaningless words, words, have no meaning any more. Then secondly, if you have actually discarded all that, how is it possible for this conditioning to be dissolved; who is the entity that is going to do it; you have discarded this outer agency, the sacred, the divine, all that, then there must be somebody who is going to dissolve it? Then who is that? the observer? the 'I', the 'me', which is the observer? Let us stick to that word, 'observer; that is good enough. Is it the observer that is going to dissolve it? The observer says; 'I must be free, therefore I must get rid of all this conditioning'. You have discarded the outer, divine agency, but you have created another agency which is the observer. Now, is the observer different from the thing which he observes? Please do follow this. You understand? We looked to an outer agency to free us God, Saviours, Masters and so on, the gurus if you discard that then you will see that you must also discard the observer, who is another form of an agency. The observer is the result of experience, of knowledge, of the desire to free himself from his own conditioning; he says, 'I must be free'. The 'I' is the observer. The 'I' says, 'I must be free'. But is the 'I' different from the thing it observes? It says, 'I am conditioned, I am a nationalist, I am a Catholic, I am this, I am that'. Is the 'I' really different from the thing which he says is separate from him, which he says is his conditioning?
So, is the 'observer', the 'I' the 'I' which says, 'I am different from the thing I want to get rid of' is it really separate from the thing it observes? Right? Are there two separate entities, the observer different from the thing observed, or is there only one thing, the observed is the observer, and the observer is the observed? (Is this becoming too difficult?)
When you see the truth of that, that the observer is the observed, then there is no duality at all, therefore no conflict, (which, as we said, is a waste of energy). Then there is only the fact; the fact that the mind is conditioned; it is not that 'I am conditioned and I am going to free myself from that conditioning'. So, when the mind sees the truth of that, then there is no duality, but only that a state of conditioning, a conditioned state, nothing else! Can we go on from there?
So, do you see that, not as an idea, but actually; do you see actually that there is only conditioning, not 'I' and the 'conditioning' as two different things, with the 'I' exercising 'will' to get rid of the 'conditioning' hence conflict? When you see that the observer is the observed there is no conflict at all, you eliminate conflict altogether. So when the mind sees there is only a conditioned state, what then is going to happen? You have eliminated, altogether, the entity that is going to exercise power, discipline or will, in order to get rid of this conditioning, which means, essentially, that the mind has eliminated conflict altogether.
Now, have you done it? If you have not done it we cannot proceed any further. Look to put it much more simply when you see a tree there is the observer, the seer, and the thing seen. Between the observer and the thing observed there is space; between the entity that sees the tree and the tree, there is space. The observer looks at that tree and has various images or ideas about trees; through those innumerable images he looks at the tree. Can he eliminate those images botanical, aesthetic, and so on so that he looks at the tree without any image, without any ideas? Have you ever tried it? If you have not tried it, if you do not do it, you will not be able to go into this much more complex problem which we are investigating; that of the mind that has looked at everything as the 'observer', as something different from the thing observed and therefore with a space, a distance, between himself as the 'observer' and the thing 'observed' as you have the space between the tree and yourself. If you can do it, that is, if you can look at a tree without any 'image', without any knowledge, then the observer is the observed. That does not mean he becomes the tree which would be too silly but that the distance between the 'observer' and the 'observed' disappears. And that is not a kind of mystical, abstract or lovely state, or that you go into an ecstasy.
When the mind discards the outward agency divine or mystical or whatever it is (which is obviously an invention of a mind that has not been able to solve the problem of freeing itself from its own conditioning) when it discards that outward agency it invents another agency, the 'I', the 'me', the 'observer' who says, 'I am going to get rid of my conditioning'. But in fact there is only a mind that is in a conditioned state; not the duality of a mind that says, 'I am conditioned, I must be free, I must exercise will over my conditioned state; there is only a mind conditioned. Do listen to this very carefully; you will see, if you really listen with attention, with your heart, with your mind, you will see what will happen. The mind is conditioned only! there is nothing else. All psychological inventions permanent relationship, divinity, Gods, everything else are born out of this conditioned mind. There is only that and nothing else! Is that a fact to you? That is the question, it is really an extraordinarily important thing if you can come to it. Because, in the observation of that only, and nothing else, begins the sense of freedom which is the freedom from conflict.
Shall we discuss or have you had enough for this morning?
Questioner: Would you repeat the last sentence?
Krishnamurti: I said, I think, that if you see only that state, know it completely, being aware without any choice, that the mind is wholly conditioned, then you'll know, or begin to feel, or smell or taste. that extraordinary sense of freedom begin but you do not have it yet, do not run away with the smell of a perfume.
Questioner: If I say, 'My mind is conditioned', then that 'I' is also a conditioning, then I do not know what else is left.
Krishnamurti: That is just it. If I say, 'I am conditioned', that 'I' is also conditioned, then what is left? There is only a conditioned state. Do see that there is only a conditioned state. But the mind objects to that; it wants to find a way out. It does not say, 'I am conditioned, I'll remain there quietly'. Any movement on my part any movement, conscious or unconscious is the movement of conditioning. Right? So, there is no movement, but only a conditioned state. If you can completely remain with it without going neurotic, you understand? then you will find out. But you will say, 'who is the entity that is going to find out?' There is no other entity who is going to find out the thing itself will begin. (I do not know if you are following all this?) The mind has always avoided this implacable state; it is conditioned from childhood, from the very beginning of life, from millions of years and it tries every way to get out of it Gods, Systems, Philosophies, Sex, Pleasure, Ideas, it does everything to get out of this conditioned state and it is still doing that when it says, 'I must go beyond it'. So, whatever movement a conditioned mind makes, whatever movement a conditioned mind follows, it is still conditioned; therefore, one asks, can it remain completely with the fact alone and nothing else? you understand? remain there, having discarded the whole system of gurus, masters, teachers, saviours you know all the things that man has invented in order to be free.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 4th Public Talk 14th July 1968
I SEEMS TO ME that it is so important to understand and to be in the state in which the mind is completely religious. Such a mind not abstractly or theoretically can solve all our problems. A religious mind is not burdened with any ideologies or assumptions, but is concerned with the fact, with 'what is' and going beyond it.
Our consciousness is conditioned, through education, through various inherited or acquired states, through various contradictions and the conflicts of the opposites; that is the consciousness of which we are. I think it is fairly obvious that this conditioned state if the mind can only be discovered, by each one of us, in looking at ourselves objectively. It seems that to look at ourselves is one of the most difficult things to do, to see ourselves actually as we are, without any theories, without any despair or hope, without any demand or opinion just to look at ourselves. Unless we do this I do not see how one can go beyond this limited, narrow, circle in which we live.
In what manner is it possible to bring about the state of inward awareness in which to see what is actually taking place in ourselves, without any bias, without any neurotic assumptions, being aware, choicelessly, of what is actually going on? I do not know if you have ever tried (not psychologically) to examine every thought, every feeling; tried to trace out the source of that thought or of that feeling; to see the examination of behaviour the cause, the motive and the various layers (if one may use that word) of the mind, of our consciousness? But that would take too long and would lead us nowhere, for the analytical process implies an analyser and the analyser is conditioned, so whatever he examines that also will be conditioned, and be seen through his conditioned state; the analytical process is obviously limited in this way. There must be a way of looking at ourselves totally, without going through all the complications of introspective analysis and so on; there must be a state, a regard, a look, that will reveal the whole content of our conditioning. I do not know if you have asked that question of yourselves and if you have, I wonder how you would answer that question? You understand the problem? Human beings are conditioned, the whole of their behaviour pattern, their outlook, their activities, their aggressiveness, their contradictory states of mind, hate and love, pleasure and pain, the despair and hope, this constant battle in the whole field of our consciousness, the inventions of gods and beliefs and faiths, is the outcome of this conditioned mind. Our nationalities, the division of people, racial and so on, is the result of our education and of the influence of the society which we have built; and so there we are, that is the field of our so obviously conditioned consciousness. How is one to be free, completely, of this, so that there is no conflict of any kind? The conflict, the struggle and battle, is a waste of energy. Our whole life is spent in this way, one desire opposing another desire, one demand, urge, instinct, contradicted by another. That is our life and one asks oneself if it is possible to step completely out of it and if so, how is this to be done? Is it at all possible?
We were saying that systems, philosophies and religions, have not freed man; he is still within the prison he has made of consciousness and that is not freedom at all. It is like a prisoner living within four walls and saying he is free, he is not free, he can walk about in the yard but freedom is something entirely different, it lies totally outside the prison. Seeing this whole complex human relationship, this complex of conditioning, the battle, the struggle, the fear of death, the loneliness, the despair, the lack of love, the brutality, the aggressiveness, of which we are, is it possible to go completely beyond and be free of it all? No outside agency can help us; the outside agency is another invention of a conditioned mind, another ideology of a mind that cannot find a way out and therefore it posits a belief. Now when you brush aside all that, you are left with this fact, that the mind is wholly conditioned, both the conscious mind as well as the unconscious deeper layer. If one is aware of that, what actually takes place? If I am aware that whatever I do, whatever movement of thought or effort I make, is within the limitation of that conditioning, then what actually takes place? You understand my question? I am aware how my mind, the very complex of brain cells themselves, is heavily loaded with the past, with memories, experience, knowledge, tradition, with systems of behaviour which one has accepted in the name of law and order yet with the aggression, the killing, each other, the destroying by word, by gesture, by an act separating ourselves. Now, how am I aware of this? Am I aware of it intellectually? (Do please follow this right through with me, with the speaker, do not just merely listen, merely hear, but actually do it.) How am I aware of this fact? I have to ask myself 'what do I mean by awareness?' 'how do I look at my conditioning?' Obviously, when I look at it I either condemn it, justify it, or accept it as inevitable.
So what do we mean by an awareness? I am aware that I am conditioned that is a fact I am aware of it, I am conscious of it, I know it; what does that mean? Is there a separation between this awareness and the thing of which it is ware? Am I aware of my conditioning as an outsider looking in? One knows one is aggressive, in word, in feeling, in act.. Does one know it as a knowledge, or does one communicate with that fact, not as an outsider, but as a communion established between the entity that is aware and the thing of which he is aware? You understand? I think it is very important to understand this. When I say 'I know', 'I know I am conditioned', the word 'know' is a very complex word. You have looked at your conditioning before and you have learnt something about it and you say 'I know'. But when you say, 'I know' you have already accumulated knowledge about it and it is with that knowledge that you look. But the thing, the conditioning, must change in the meantime and does change. Therefore to say 'I know' is the most dangerous thing. To say 'I know you' which is absurd, 'I know my wife, my husband, my children, my politician, my God' (that is the last thing!) when you say 'I know you', you mean you know your wife, or your husband, or your friend, as of two or three days ago. But in the meantime that friend, or husband or wife, has undergone a change. So to say 'I know' is 'wrong' if I may use that word. So knowledge prevents you from looking right? Now, can I look without the previous experience, without knowledge, so that I look with freshness, with newness? Life is a series of experiences conscious or unconscious these experiences, the various forms of influences, ideas, propaganda, all are pouring in and each leaves a mark. It is with these various hurts, marks, memories, as knowledge, that I look. So my look is always spotted, never clear. Can I look at myself with eyes that have never been touched by experience? Do please follow this and do it; do it and you will see something. If I look at myself with the eyes of experience, with eyes that have looked at so many things I have been through such tragedies, such thoughts, such despairs and sorrows then those eyes never see anything clearly. Can the mind be free of all the past, to look?
Can the mind be aware of its conditioning, can it look at it without any distortion, without any bias? That is the problem. Is it possible to look at anything, the tree, the cloud, the flower, the child, the face of a woman or a man, as though you are looking at it for the first time? That is really the central issue real freedom to look. 8 And freedom is to be free of the whole depth of the past. The past is the culture in which we have been brought up, the social, economic influences, the peculiar tendencies of each one of us, the impulses, the religious dogmas, beliefs, all of that is the past; and with that past we try to look at ourselves, yet we ourselves are that past.
There are two types of freedom, are there not? There is freedom from something I am free from anger let us suppose but the freedom from something is a reaction; obviously that is not freedom. To be free from one's nationality means absolutely nothing; a very intelligent man is free from that particular poison; but that does not constitute freedom at all. And there is a different kind of freedom, a state of mind in which there is no effort at all. Such freedom is love; it is not as when you say, 'I must learn to love, to practise love', 'I hate people but I am going to struggle, make an attempt to love', that is not love. Freedom is a state of mind in which love is and it is not the opposite of hate, or jealousy, or aggression. When we are dealing with opposites and trying to be free from one and achieve the other then the other has its root in its own opposite right? Through conflict freedom cannot possibly be understood.
We will come back to this question what is it to be aware? Is there an awareness of that tree, of that cloud, of the green sparkling grass in the early morning; is there an awareness of it without any choice, without any interference of thought or of knowledge which divides? We were saying the other day, do look at a tree, or a cloud, or whatever it is, without space. Did you do it? To look at your wife, or your husband, or your girl friend, or boy friend, without the image; have you ever tried it? Have you seen what its implications are and seen whether you can be free from these implications, so that you can look? I think this is very important to understand and is the key to the whole thing. When there is no separation between the observer and the thing observed, there is no conflict and therefore there is immediate action. I am aware that I am angry; the observer, if he is separate, sees anger as something apart from himself, outside of himself. When there is this division between the observer and the observed, the observer says, 'I must get rid of it', 'I must suppress it', or 'I must understand it, 'I must look to the cause of it' and so on and on. In that there is conflict, there is a state of disturbance, control, suppression, of yielding to it or rationalizing it, justifying it, and so on; which is all a waste of energy because of the conflict involved in it. But when the observer realizes he himself is the thing observed, then he sees that he is anger (not he himself and anger as two separate things). When he sees that he is anger, then there is no waste of energy. What actually takes place what happens then? I see I am angry that state you all know I am not separate from the anger, I am anger and I am aware of it, there is no division then what takes place? When there is no effort or struggle or contradiction or battle there is only one thing, that which actually is. And what actually is, is myself (the observer who thought he was different from the observed) And there is only that fact, anger, jealousy, or whatever it is; and all the movement of contradictory thought has come to an end Therefore there is only perception, a seeing in which there is no division, no contradiction and a new state of energy comes into being. This new state of energy is going to dispel that fact altogether.
We need a great deal of energy; to look at a tree without this space, without this division, between the seer and the seen, you need great energy of attention and also you need a sense of freedom. Freedom and attention must go together, which is love and that quality of attention in which the observer is not.
I wonder if you are getting all this? I have talked for about forty-five minutes I wonder what you have got out of it? Could you tell me what actually you have learned, not memorized, not by gathering a few ideas and explanations, but actually what you have in your hand after listening for fifty minutes or so?
Questioner: Is seeing an exploding force?
Krishnamurti: I wonder why you ask me find out. Sir, look, I wonder how we can communicate to each other the seriousness of all this. You have taken a lot of trouble to come here, a lot of trouble and expense and you listen for an hour in the morning three times a week and at the end of this summer after ten talks, or two talks, what do you hold in your hand?
Questioner: It is difficult to say in words.
Krishnamurti: 'It is difficult to say in words', is it? Has one stepped out of all this misery of life, is one free from all the mess in oneself?
Questioner: (Inaudible on tape)
Krishnamurti: Madame, this is not a confession for God's sake do not let us be reduced to that. This is not exposing each other and saying we have advanced so much which would be utterly silly. What we are asking is, have we communicated with each other? Is there a communion between the speaker and yourself over something? When you say to somebody, 'I love you' those few words are enough, you have actually communicated something which you feel very deeply, something very real, which is not just words. And, if we can put it that way, is there love which actually is a state of communion? not sentiment, not emotion, not all that stuff but a freedom, a love, so that we are entirely different human beings? After all, that is the meaning of this gathering, to shake the very foundation of our being so that we may discover something of a different dimension altogether. We may make a mistake, probably we will, but when we do make a mistake see it immediately and remove it, we do not remain wallowing in that mistake. I do not know if you are following all this? Look Sirs, we have enormous work to do together, we have great responsibility, the world is in such a fearful mess, a frightening state, and when we leave we must be entirely different human beings, utterly responsible, to bring about a different world. That is, we must be revolutionaries in the sense that deep inward revolution must take place in us. l4th July, 1968
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 5th Public Talk 16th July 1968
I WONDER IF YOU ever ask yourself a fundamental question; a question that, in the very asking, indicates a depth of seriousness; a question the answering of which does not necessarily depend on another, or on any philosophy, or teacher and so on. I would like to ask, this morning, one of those serious and fundamental questions.
Is there right action which is right under all circumstances, or is there only action neither right nor wrong? Right action varies according to the individual and the different circumstances in which he is placed. The individual as opposed to the community, the individual as a soldier, he might ask, 'What is right action?' To him the right action obviously would be as he's in the front to kill. And the individual with his family enclosed within the four walls of the idea of mine, my family, my possessions to him there is also a right action. And the business man in the office, to him also there is right action. And so the right action breeds opposition; the individual action opposed to the collective action. Each maintains that his action is right; the religious man with his exclusive beliefs and dogmas pursues what he considers right action and this separates him from the non-believer, from those who think or feel the opposite of what he believes. There is the action of the specialist who is working according to certain specialized knowledge, he says 'This is the right action'. There are politicians with their right and wrong action the communists, the socialists, the capitalists, and so on. There is this whole stream of life, which includes the business life, the political life, the religious life, the life of the family and also the life in which there is beauty love, kindliness, generosity and so on.
One asks oneself in looking at all these fragmentary actions which breed their own opposites seeing all this, one asks 'What is right action in all circumstances?' Or there is only action, which is neither right nor wrong a very difficult statement even to make or to believe, because obviously it is wrong action to kill, obviously it is wrong action when one is held by a particular dogma and acts according to that.
There are those who, seeing all this, say 'We are activists, we are not concerned with philosophies, with theories, with various forms of speculative ideology, we are concerned with action, doing.' And, there are those who withdraw from 'doing' into monasteries, they retire into themselves and go some paradise of their own, or they spend years in meditation, thinking to find the truth and from there act.
So, serving these phenomena the opposing and fragmentary actions of those who say 'We are right', 'This is the right action'. This will solve the problems of the world' yet so creating, consciously or unconsciously, activities opposed to that and thus everlasting divisions and aggressive attitudes one asks 'What is one to do?'
What is one to do in a world that is really appalling, brutal in a world where there is such violence, such corruption, where money, money, money, matters enormously and where one is willing to sacrifice another in seeking power, position, prestige, fame; where each man is wanting, struggling to assert, to fulfil, to be somebody. What is one to do? what are you to do? I do not know if you have asked this question, 'What am I, living in this world, seeing all this before me, the misery, the enormous suffering man is inflicting upon man, the deep suffering that one goes through, the anxiety, the fear, the sense of guilt, the hope and the despair seeing all this, one must, if one is at all aware of all this, ask 'what am I, living in this world, to do?' How would you answer that question? If you put that question to yourself in all seriousness, if you put that question very, very seriously, it has an extraordinary intensity and immediacy. What is your answer to this challenge? One sees that the fragmentary action, the action that is 'right', does lead to contradiction, to opposition, to separateness; and man has pursued this, the 'right' action, calling it morality, pursuing a behaviour pattern, a system in which he is caught and by which he is conditioned; to him there is right action and wrong action, which in their turn produce other contradictions and oppositions. So one asks oneself, 'Is there an action which is neither right nor wrong only action?'
Please, do not just hear a lot of words and ideas with which you agree or disagree, which you accept or reject. It is a very, very serious problem that is involved in this; how to live life non-fragmentarily, a life which is not broken up into family, business, religion, politics, amusement, seriousness you know, broken up constantly.
How to live a life that is complete, whole? I hope you are asking the same question of yourself; if you are, then we can go further together, we can communicate and be in real communion with each other on this very, very fundamental, serious, question.
In the East they have their own pattern of behaviour; they say, 'We Brahmins, we are right, we are superior, we are this, we are that, we know', they assert their dogmas and beliefs, their conduct and morality, yet all in opposition, 'tolerating' each other and killing each other at a moment's notice. So we ask, 'Is there a life of action which is never fragmentary, never exclusive, never divided?'
How will we find out? Is it to be found out through verbal explanations is it to be found out by another telling you? Is it to be found out because you, having never acted completely, are so tired, exhausted, heartbroken that out of that weariness and despair you want to find the other? So one must be clear about the motive with which one asks this question. If one has a motive of any kind, one's answer will have no meaning whatsoever because the motive dictates the answer. One must ask this question without any motive, because it is then only that truth is to be found, the truth of anything. In putting this question one must discover one's motive. And if one has a motive because one wants to be happy, or because one wants peace in the world, or because one has struggled for so long, or if one's motive in searching for complete action is out of weariness, out of despair, out of various forms of longing, of escape, of fulfilment then one's answer will inevitably be very limited. So one must be really aware when one puts this question to oneself. But if you can put it without any motive at all then you are free look you understand? you are free to find out you are not tethered to a particular demand, to a particular urge. Can we go on from there? It is very difficult to be free of motive.
So what is action, which is not fragmentary, which is neither right nor wrong and which does not create opposition, action which is not dualistic please follow all this an action which does not breed conflict, contradictions? Having put that question to yourself in all seriousness, how are you going to find out? You have to find out. Nobody can give it to you, it would not be of your own finding, it would not be something which you have come upon because you have looked with clarity and therefore something which could never be taken away, destroyed by circumstance. In asking this question, the intellect, with all its cunning, can given all the data, all the circumstances, seeing that every contradictory action breeds conflict and therefore misery it can say 'I will do this' and make that into a principle, a pattern, a formula, according to which it will live; but then you will live according to that formula as you have done previously, then you are again breeding contradiction, then you are imitating, following, obeying. To live according to a formula, to an ideology, to a foreseeable conclusion, is to live a life of adjustment, imitation, conformity, therefore a life of opposition, duality, endless conflict and confusion. The intellect cannot answer this question, nor can thought. Thought if you have gone into it deeply with yourselves thought is always divided, thought can never bring about a unity of action; it may bring about integrated action, but any action that is the outcome of integration through thought will inevitably breed contradictory action.
One sees the danger of thought, thought which is the response of memory, experience, knowledge, conviction and so on; one sees that thought, which is the response from the past, can lay out a way of life and force itself to conform to the formula which it has created ideologically. And one sees that that means inward conflict, for in that there is right and wrong, that which is true, or false, that which should be and that which is not, that which might have been and so on and on. So, if the mind, in putting this question, can be clear of motive, be clear of the danger of the intellectual perception and the conformity to an ideology which it has invented, then it can ask this question and the answer will be entirely different.
Is it possible to live so completely, so wholly, so totally that there are no fragmentary actions? As one observes, life is action; whatever you do or think or feel, is action. Life is a movement, an endless movement, without a beginning and without an end; and we have broken it up into the past, present and the future, as living and dying, as well as breaking it up into love and hate, into nationalities. And we are asking: is there a way of life not ideologically, but actually, every minute of daily life in which there is no contradiction, no opposition, no fragmentation, in the very living of which is complete action? 14 Have you ever considered what love is? is it this torture? it may be beautiful at the beginning when you tell somebody 'I love you', but it soon deteriorates into every form of cunning, possessive, dominating relationship, with its hate and jealous anxiety, its fear. Such love is pleasure and desire, pleasure of sex and the urge of desire maintained by thought chewing over that particular pleasure day after day; that is what we call love. The love of Country, the love of God, the love of fellow man, all that means absolutely nothing, it is just ideas. When we talk about the love of the neighbour, in the church or in the temple, we do not really mean it; we are hypocrites for on Monday morning we destroy our neighbour in business, through competition, by wanting a better position, more power, and so on and on and on. Love of the particular, in the family and the love of man outside that circle as possessiveness, possessing my wife, my husband, my child, dominating them, or I let them go because I am too occupied, I have business, I have other interests, I have... God knows what else, so there is no home; yet when there is a home there is this constant battle of possessiveness, domination, fear, jealousy, of trying to fulfil oneself through the family, through sex all these phenomena we call love; I do not think we are exaggerating, we are merely stating the fact; we may not like it but it is there. In that love again is the right and wrong action, which again breeds various forms of conflict. Is all that love? that which we accept as love, that which has become part of our nature. We instinctively cover up this structure, but when you look at it objectively, very earnestly, with clear eyes is that love? obviously it is not. And being caught in the behaviour pattern set by ourselves and by society for centuries, we cannot break away, we do not know what to do and hence there is conflict between the 'right' love and the 'wrong' love, between what should be and what is. The 'morality' of this structure is really immoral; and knowing that, we create another ideology and therefore conflict in opposing the immorality. So, what is love? not your opinion, not your conclusion, not what you think about it who cares what is thought about it. You can only find out what it is when you completely get rid of the structure of jealousy, domination, hate, envy, the desire to possess the structure of pleasure.
Pleasure is something that has to be gone into. We are not saying that pleasure is wrong or right, which again would lead us to various conclusions and therefore oppositions. But for most of us, love is associated, is closely knit, with pleasure sexual and other forms of pleasure. And if love is pleasure then love is pain; and when there is pain, is there love? logically, there is not, yet we go on with it, day after day. Can one break away from the structure, the tradition, the thing in which we are caught and find out, or come upon, that state of love which is none of this? it is beyond, outside the tent, it is not within the tent, within ourselves.
Is a life possible in which the very living is the beauty of action and love? Without love there is always the right and wrong action, breeding conflict, contradiction and opposition. There is only one action that comes out of love; there is no other action which never contradicts, never breeds conflict. You know, love is both aggressive and non-aggressive do not misunderstand it love is not something pacifist, quiet, down somewhere in the cellar or up in heaven; when you love you have vitality, drive, intensity and the immediacy of action. So, is it possible for us human beings to be involved in this beauty of action, which is love?
It would quite extraordinary if all of us here, in this tent, could come upon this not as an idea, not something speculatively to be reached and actually from this day step out into a different dimension and live a life so whole, complete, so sacred; such a life is the religious life, there is no other life, no other religion. Such a life will answer every problem, because love is extraordinarily intelligent and practical, with the highest form of sensitivity and there is humility. That is the only thing that is important in life; one is either steeped in it, or one is not. If we could, all of us, come into this naturally, easily, without any conflict or effort, then we would live a different life, a life of great intelligence, sagacity, clarity; it is this clarity which is a light to itself, this clarity solves all problems.
Questioner: Does it mean that you do not make plans?
Krishnamurti: I am afraid it does not. I had to make a plan when I got up this morning to come here; you have to make a plan when you are going to catch your train. You see, intelligence will answer these questions; having lived a life of imitation, of acceptance, obedience, of conformity to a formula, when that is taken away forcibly or you reject it because you see the absurdity of it you are lost, you say, 'My God, must I not do this, that?' and what happens? Whereas, if you with intimacy, actually observe the structure, the formula, the system you are living, see, feel and taste it, then out of that observation comes intelligence and that intelligence will act that intelligence is, by its very nature, free.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 6th Public Talk 18th July 1968
When we left off last time we were going to talk about pleasure; exploring that very important factor in life we have also to understand what love is and in understanding that we have also to find out what beauty is. So there are three things involved: there is pleasure, there is beauty about which we talk and feel a great deal, and there is love that word which is so spoilt. We will go into it, step by step, rather diligently yet hesitatingly, because such a vast field of human existence is covered by these three things. And to come to any conclusion, to say 'This is pleasure' or 'One must not have pleasure', or 'This is love', 'This is beauty' seems to me to demand the very clearest comprehension and feeling of beauty, of love and pleasure. So we must, if we are somewhat wise, avoid any formula, any conclusion, any definite apprehension about this deep subject. To come into contact with the deep truth of these three things is not a matter of intellection nor of the definition of words, nor of any vague, mystical, or parapsychological feeling.
For most of us pleasure and its expression, is very important. Most of our moral values are based on it, on the ultimate or immediate pleasure; our hereditary and psychological trends and our physical and neurological reactions are based on pleasure. If you examine, not only the outward values and judgments of society, but also look within yourself, you will see that pleasure and its evaluation is the main pursuit of our lives. We may resist, we may sacrifice, we may achieve or deny, but at the end of it there is always this sense of gaining pleasure, satisfaction, contentment, of being pleased or gratified. Self expression and self fulfilment is a form of pleasure and when that pleasure is thwarted, blocked, there is fear and out of that fear there is aggression. Please, watch this in yourself, you are not just listening to a lot of words or ideas, they have no meaning; you can read in a book a psychological explanation that will have no value; but if we investigate together, step by step, then you will see for yourself what an extraordinary thing comes out of it. Bear in mind that we are not saying we must not have pleasure, that pleasure is wrong, as the various religious groups throughout the world maintain. We are not saying you must suppress, deny, control, translate to a higher level and all that kind of thing. We are just examining and if we can examine quite objectively, deeply, then out of that comes a different state of mind which has a bliss, but not pleasure bliss is something entirely different.
We know what pleasure is, the looking at a beautiful mountain, at a lovely tree, at the light in a cloud that is chased by the wind across the sky, at the beauty of the river with its clear running water. There is a great deal of pleasure in watching all of this or in seeing the beautiful face of a woman, a man or a child; and we all know the pleasure that comes through touch, taste, seeing, listening. And when that intense pleasure is sustained by thought, then there is the counteraction which is aggression, reprisal, anger, hate, born out of the feeling of not getting that pleasure which you are after and therefore fear which is again fairly obvious if you observe it. Any kind of experience is sustained by thought, the pleasure of an experience of yesterday, whatever it was, sensual, sexual, visual. Thought thinks over, thought chews over the pleasure, goes over it, creating an image or picture which sustains it, gives it nourishment. Thought gives sustenance to that pleasure of yesterday, gives it a continuity today and tomorrow. Do notice it. And when the pleasure sustained by that thought is inhibited, because it is bound round by circumstance, by various forms of hindrances, then that thought is in revolt, it turns its energy into aggression, to hate, to violence which again is another form of pleasure.
Most of us seek pleasure through self-expression. We want to express ourselves, whether in little or in great things. The artist wants to express himself on the canvas, the author in books, the musician using an instrument and so on. This self-expression from which one derives an enormous amount of pleasure is it beauty? When an artist expresses himself he derives pleasure and intense satisfaction is that beauty? Or, because he can't completely convey on canvas or in words what he feels, there is discontent, which is another form of pleasure.
So is beauty pleasure? And when there is self-expression in any form, does it convey beauty? And is love pleasure? Is love which has now almost become synonymous with sex and its expression and all that is involved in it, self-forgetfulness and so on is love, when thought derives intense pleasure from it, love? When it is thwarted it becomes jealousy, anger, hatred. Pleasure entails domination, possession, dependence and therefore fear. So one asks oneself, is love pleasure? Is love desire, in all its subtle forms, sexual, as companionship, tenderness and that self-forgetfulness is all that love and if it is not, then what is love?
If you have observed your own mind operating, being aware of the very activity of the brain, you will see that from the ancient time, from the very beginning, man has pursued pleasure. If you have watched the animal, you see how pleasure is an extraordinarily important thing, the pursuit of pleasure and the aggression when that pleasure is thwarted.
We are built on that: our judgments, our values, our social demands, our relationships and so on, are based on this essential principle of pleasure and its self-expression; and when that is thwarted, when that is controlled, twisted, prevented, then there is anger, then there is aggression which becomes another form of pleasure.
What relationship has pleasure to love? Or has pleasure relationship to love at all? Is love something entirely different? Is love something which is not fragmented by society, by religion, as profane and divine? How are you going to find out? How are you going to find out for yourself? Not being told by another, for if somebody tells you what it is and you say 'Yes, that's right' it is not yours, it is not something you have discovered and felt profoundly for yourself.
What relationship has the pleasure of self-expression to beauty and to love? The scientist, he must know the truth of things; for the human being not the specialized philosopher, the scientist, the technologist but for the human being concerned with daily life, the earning of a livelihood, with the family, and so on, is truth something static? Or is it something that you discover as you go along, never stationary, never permanent but always moving? Truth is not an intellectual phenomenon, it is not an emotional or sentimental affair and we have to find the truth of pleasure, the truth of beauty and the reality of what love is.
One has seen the torture of love, the dependence on it, the fear of it, the loneliness of not being loved and the everlasting seeking of it in all kinds of relationships, never finding it to one's complete satisfaction. So one asks, is love satisfaction and at the same time a torture hedged about by jealousy, envy, hatred, anger, dependence?
When there is not beauty in the heart we go to museums and concerts, we visit and marvel at the beauty of an ancient Greek temple with its lovely columns, its proportions against the blue sky. We talk endlessly about beauty; we lose touch with nature altogether as modem man, living more and more in towns, is losing it. There are societies formed to go into the country to look at the birds, trees and rivers; as though by forming societies to look at trees you are going to touch nature and come into extraordinary contact with the immense beauty! Because we have lost touch with nature, modern objective painting, museums and concerts, assume such importance.
There is an emptiness, a sense of inward void which is always seeking self-expression and the deriving of pleasure and hence breeding the fear of not having it completely; there is resistance, aggression and all the rest of it. We proceed to fill that inward void, that emptiness and sense of utter isolation and loneliness which I am sure you have all felt with books, with knowledge, with relationships; with every form of trickery, but at the end of it there is still this unfillable emptiness; then we turn to God, the ultimate resort. When there is this emptiness and this sense of deep unfathomable void, is love, is beauty, possible? If one is aware of this emptiness and does not escape from it, then what is one to do? We have tried to fill it with gods, with knowledge, with experience, with music, with pictures, with extraordinary technological information; that is what we are occupied with morning until night. One realizes that this emptiness cannot be filled by any person one sees the importance of this. If you fill it with that which is called relationship with another person or with an image, then out of that comes dependence and the fear of loss, then aggressive possession, jealousy and all the rest that follows. So one asks oneself: can that emptiness ever be filled by anything, by social activity, good works, going to a monastery and meditating, training oneself to be aware? which again is such an absurdity. If one cannot fill it then what is one to do? You understand the importance of this question? One has tried to fill it with what one calls pleasure, through self-expression, searching for truth, God; one realizes that nothing can ever fill it, neither the image one has created about oneself nor the image or ideology one has created about the world, nothing. And so, one has used beauty, love and pleasure to cover this emptiness and if one no longer escapes but remains with it, then what is one to do? Is the question clear? Have you followed somewhat?
What is this loneliness, this sense of deep inward void, what is it and how does it come into being? Does it exist because we are trying to fill it, or are trying to escape from it? Does it exist because we are afraid of it? Is it just an idea of emptiness, therefore the mind is never in contact with what actually is (I do not know if you are following all this) it is never directly in relationship with it?
I see you are not meeting my point.
I discover this emptiness in myself and I cease to escape for that is obviously an immature activity I am aware of it, there it is and nothing can fill it. Now I ask myself: how has this come into being? Has all my living, have all my daily activities and assumptions and so on, produced it? is it that the 'self', the 'me', the 'ego' or whatever word you may use in all its activity, is isolating itself? The very nature of the 'me', the 'self', the 'ego', is isolation; it is separative. All these activities have produced this isolated state, this state of deep emptiness in myself, so it is a result, a consequence, not something inherent. I see that as long as my activity is self-centred and self-expressive there must be this void; I see that to fill this void I make every kind of effort; which again is self-centred and the emptiness becomes wider and deeper.
Is it possible to go beyond this state? not by escaping from it, not by saying 'I will not be self-centred.' When one says 'I will not be self-centred' one is already self-centred. When one exercises 'will' to deny the activity of the 'self' that very 'will' is the factor of isolation.
The mind has been conditioned through centuries upon centuries in its demand for security and safety; it has built both physiologically and psychologically this self-centred activity and this activity pervades the daily life, as my family, my job, my possessions, and that produces this emptiness, this isolation. How is that activity to end, can it ever end, or must one entirely ignore that activity and bring another quality to it altogether?
I wonder if you are following all this? I see this emptiness, I see how it has come into being, I am aware that 'will', or any other activity, exerted to dispel the creator of this emptiness is only another form of self-centred activity; I see that very clearly, objectively and I realize suddenly that I cannot do anything about it. You understand? Before, I did something about it, I escaped, or I tried to fill it, I tried to understand it and to go into it, but they are all other forms of isolation. So, I suddenly realize that I cannot do anything, that the more I try to do something about it, the more I am creating and building walls of isolation. The mind itself realizes that it cannot do anything about it, that thought cannot touch it, because the moment thought touches it, it breeds emptiness again. So by carefully observing, objectively, I see this whole process and the very seeing of it is enough. See what has happened. Before I have used energy to fill this emptiness, wandered all over the place and now I see the absurdity of it, the mind sees very clearly how absurd it is, so now I am not dissipating energy. Thought becomes quiet; the mind becomes completely still; it has seen the whole map of this and so there is silence; in that silence there is no loneliness. When there is that silence, that complete silence of the mind, there is beauty and love, which may, or may not, express.
Have you at all followed? Have we taken the journey together? Madame, don't say 'yes'.. this, that we are talk- about, is one of the most difficult things and one of the most dangerous, because if you are at all neurotic as most of us are then it becomes complicated and ugly. This is a tremendously complex problem; when you look at this extraordinarily complex problem it becomes very, very simple; and the very simplicity of it leads you to say 'that is so simple' and you think you have got it.
So, there is bliss only, which is beyond pleasure; there is beauty, which is not the expression of a cunning mind, but the beauty which is known when the mind is completely silent.
It is raining and you can hear the pattern of the drops. You can hear it with your ears, or you can hear it out of that deep silence. If you hear it with complete silence of the mind, then the beauty of it is such that cannot be put into words or onto canvas, because that beauty is something beyond self-expression. Love obviously is bliss, which is not pleasure.
Do want to talk about it, explore together?
Questioner: When there is no awareness all the old responses come into being. How is one to prevent, or to inhibit, or to put aside, the old responses?
Krishnamurti: Put it into different words, perhaps that may help. There are the states of inattention and of attention. When you are completely giving your mind, your heart, your nerves, everything you have, to attend, then the old habits, the mechanical responses, do not enter into it, thought does not come into it at all. But we cannot maintain that all the time, so we are mostly in a state of inattention, a state in there is not an alert choiceless awareness. What takes place? There is inattention and rare attention and we are trying to bridge the one to the other. How can my inattention become attention or, can attention be complete, all the time?
Inattention can never become attention. How can it? How can you make hate into love? You cannot. But investigate the ways of inattention, watch it, watch how inattention grows, be aware of it and do not try to make inattention into attention, do nothing right? You are inattentive what is happening? look at it very carefully, be aware that you are inattentive, do not try to force it to become attention. Be aware that you are inattentive, then you will change it; but you cannot do it if you say 'I will be aware that I am inattentive'. You understand what I am talking about? Do please look at it, do not come to any conclusions, first look. There are two states, one is inattention, and the other in rare moments is complete attention when thought does not come into it at all; in those rare moments you will discover something wholly new. In that complete attention there is a different dimension altogether. If that then becomes something that you have known, that you have felt, that you remember, if it becomes a memory and you say to yourself 'I wish I could capture that again, keep hold of it, not let it go', then that again is the state of inattention. So, be aware of inattention not, 'how to be attentive' do not do anything about inattention. All right, I am inattentive, but I am very careful, I am watching it, I am not trying to give it a shape, I am not trying to change it, I am just watching it. The very watching is attention.
Questioner: The great part of our daily life is lived at the solely factual level, particularly so with children learning facts at school. Is this daily and necessary factual activity an impediment to psychological freedom?
Krishnamurti: Sir, nothing is an impediment to psychological freedom, nothing! An impediment comes into being only when there is a resistance. When there is no resistance of any kind then there is no psychological problem. If you treat the daily living, earning a livelihood, educating the children, the boredom of it all, the routine, the daily business of washing dishes, with resistance, as a hindrance, then it becomes a problem. But when you are aware of this whole process of living with its routine, with its habits, with its boredom, with its anxieties, griefs, fears, dominations, possessions when you are aware of it without any choice, (you can't do anything about that rain, or the line of those hills, and if you can look at your own activity in the same way, quietly, without any choice, without any resistance) then there is no psychological problem there is only freedom out of that.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 7th Public Talk 21st July 1968
WHAT IS IMPORTANT is not to pile up words, or arguments, or explanations, but rather to bring about, in each one of us, a deep revolution, a deep psychological mutation, so that there is a different kind of society, a totally different relationship between man and man, which is not based on immorality, as it is now. Such a revolution, in the most profound and total sense of that word, does not take place through any system, or through any action of the will, or through any combination of habit and foresight.
One of our greatest difficulties is it not? is that we are caught in habit. And habit, however refined, however subtle, deeply established and engrained, is not love. Love can never be a thing of habit. Pleasure as we were saying the other day can become a habit and a continued demand; but I do not see how love can become a habit. And the deep, radical change that we are talking about is to come upon this quality of love, a quality which has nothing whatever to do with emotionalism, or sentimentalism; it has nothing whatever to do with tradition, with the deeply established culture of any society. Most of us, lacking this extraordinary quality of love, slip into 'righteous' habits; and habits can never be righteous. Habit is neither good nor bad, there is only habit, a repetition, an imitation, a conformity to the past and to the tradition which is the outcome of inherited instinct and acquired knowledge.
If one pursues or lives in habit, there must inevitably be the increase of fear and that is what we are going to talk over together this morning. A mind, entrenched in habit and most of our minds are must always live with fear. I mean by habit not only repetition but the habits of convenience, the habits into which one slips in a particular form of relationship as between husband and wife, as between the community and the individual, between the nations, and so on. We all live in habits, in traditional and well-established lines of conduct and behaviour, in well-respected ways of looking at life, in opinions so deeply entrenched, deeply rooted as prejudice.
As long as the mind is not sensitive, not alert and quick, it is not capable of living with the actuality of life, which is so fluid, so constantly undergoing change. Psychologically, inwardly, we refuse to follow the movement of life because our roots are deep in habit and tradition, in obedience to what has been told to us, in acceptance. And it seems to me that it is very important to understand this and to break away from it, for I do not see how man can continue to live without love. Without love we are destroying each other, we are living in fragments, one fragment in aggression with the other, one in revolt against the other; and habit, in any form, must inevitably breed fear. If I may suggest, please do not merely accept and say 'Yes, we do live in habits, what shall we do?', but rather, be aware of them, be conscious of them, be alive to the habits that one has; be aware not only of the physical habits, like smoking, eating meat, drinking, which are all habits, but also of the deep-rooted habits in the psyche, which accept, which believe, which hope and have despairs, agonies, sorrows. If we could together go into this problem of habit and also of fear and perhaps thereby come to the ending of sorrow, then there might be a possibility of a love that we have never known, a bliss that is beyond the touch of pleasure.
Most of us have grooves of conscious or unconscious habit; we think habits are right and wrong, good and bad, the behaviour habits and the habits which are not respectable habits which are considered by society immoral. But the morality of society is in itself immoral. You can see that fairly simply, because society is based on aggression, on acquisitiveness, on the sense of one dominating the other, and so on the whole cultural system. We have accepted such morality, we live in that frame of morality and we accept it as something inevitable and it has become a habit. To change that habit, to see how extraordinarily immoral it is though that immorality has become highly respectable to see that and to act with a mind that is no longer caught in habit, to act in a wholly different way, is only possible when we understand the nature of fear. We would very easily change any habit, break through any entrenched, deep-rooted habit, if there was no fear that in the breaking of it we would suffer even more, be even more uncertain, unclear. Please watch yourselves, watch your own state of mind, see that most of us would easily, happily, break a habit if there was not on the other side, fear, uncertainty.
What makes most of us hold on to our habits is fear. So let us go into this question of fear, not intellectually, not verbally, but by being aware of one's own psychological fears, by examining them. That is, let us give fear space so that it can flower and in the very flowering of it, watch it. You know, fear is a very strange phenomenon, both biologically and psychologically. If we could understand the psychological fears, then the biological fears can be easily remedied, easily understood. Unfortunately we start with physical fears and neglect the psychological fears; we are very frightened of disease and pain, one's whole mind is concerned with it and we do not know how to come to grips with that pain without bringing about a series of conflicts within the psyche, within oneself. Whereas, if one could begin with the psychological fears, then perhaps the physical fears can be understood and be dealt with, with sanity.
Obviously, to look at fear, there must be no escape. We have all of us, cultivated escapes as a way of avoiding fear. The very avoidance of fear only increases fear that again is very simple. So the first thing is to see that the flight from fear is a form of fear. When we avoid it we are merely turning our backs on it, but it is always there. So realize not verbally or intellectually actually realize that one cannot possibly avoid it, it is there, like a sore tongue, like a wound, you cannot avoid it, it is there; that is one fact. Then, you must give space for fear to flower as you would give space for goodness to flower you must give space for fear to come out in the open; then you can look at it. You know, if you have ever planted a quick-growing vine, if you are interested in it, that if you come back at the end of the day you find it has already two leaves, it is already growing, so rapidly. In the same way see fear and give it space so that it is exposed. That means you are really not frightened to look at it. It is like a person who depends on others because he is frightened to be alone, and depending on others, a whole series of hypocritical actions take place; realizing the activities of hypocrisy, putting them aside, he can see how frightened he is to be alone, he can be with that fear, to let it move, let it grow, to see its nature, its structure, its quality.
When you can look at fear without any avoidance, there is a different quality to that fear. (I hope you are doing this, I hope you are taking your own particular fear, however cherished, however carefully one has avoided it, and are looking at it without any form of escape, without judgment, condemnation, justification.) Then the question arises if one goes as far as that as to 'who' is observing fear. I am frightened of it does not matter what frightened of death, frightened of losing my job, of getting old, of disease, one is frightened and not escaping, there it is. I look at it and to look at anything there must be space; if I am too close to it I cannot see it. And when you look at fear, giving it space and freedom to be alive, then who is looking at fear? Who is it that says 'I have not run away from fear, I am looking at it, not too closely, so that it can grow, it can live and I am not smothering it with my anxiety' then who is it that is looking at it? Who is the 'observer'? the thing observed being fear. The 'observer' is obviously the series of habits, the tradition, which 'he' has accepted and within which 'he' lives; 'he' is the behaviour pattern, the belief or avoidance of belief; the 'observer' is that is it not so? The 'observer' is the cultured entity; the cultured stylized, systematized mind, functioning in habit, is the 'observer' who is looking at fear; therefore 'he' is not looking at it directly at all. 'He' is looking at it with the culture, with the traditional ideology, so there is a conflict between 'him' with all his background and conditioning between 'him' the entity and the thing observed, fear; 'he' is looking at it indirectly, finding reasons for not accepting it, and soon there is thus a constant battle between the 'observer' and the thing observed. The thing observed is fear and the 'observer' looks at it with thought with thought which is the response of memory, of tradition, of culture.
One has then to understand the nature of thought. (Can we go into that? Look, it is a very simple thing, I hope I am not making it complicated.) I do not know what is going to happen tomorrow I might lose my job, I do not know, anything might happen tomorrow so I am frightened of tomorrow. It is thought that has produced this fear; it says I might lose my job, my wife might run away from me, I might be alone, I might have that pain which I had yesterday, and so on. Thought, thinking about tomorrow and being uncertain of tomorrow, breeds fear. That is fairly clear, is it not? If there is something immediate that is shocking with no time for thought to interfere, there is no fear. It is only when there is an interval between the incident and the response, when thought can intervene and say, 'I am frighten- ed'. One is frightened of death; the fear of death is the habit, the culture in which we have been brought up; so thought says, I will die some day, for God's sake let us not think about it, put it far away.' But thought is frightened about it, it has created a distance between itself and that inevitable day and so there is fear. So, to understand fear, one must go into the whole structure and nature of thought. Again, it is very simple to see what thought is. Thought is the response of memory; the thousands of experiences that have left a residue, a mark on the brain cells themselves. And thought is the response of those brain cells; thought is very material. So can I, can the observer, look at fear without invoking, or inciting, thought, with all the background of culture and explanations? can I look at it without all that? Then is there fear? I do not know if you are following all this?
First of all, one is frightened because one has not looked at fear, one has avoided it at all costs. The avoidance only creates fear, conflict and struggle, which produce various forms of neurotic action, violence, hate, sorrow and so on. Now when there is a looking without thought one has to be very sensitive, both physically and psychologically, highly sensitive and yet this is impossible when one is functioning within the limits of thought. To go beyond thought, which is the 'impossible' for most of us, is to discover whether it is possible' to be free, at all, of thought.
Can we go on? are we communicating with each other? I am sorry, if we cannot, we cannot.
Most of us are so insensitive physically, because we overeat, smoke, indulge in various forms of sensual delights not that one should not the mind becomes dull that way and when the mind becomes dull the body becomes, yet further, dull. That is the pattern in which we have lived; you see difficult it is to change your diet, you are used to a particular form of diet and taste, and you must have that all the time; if you do not get it you feel you will be ill, you are rather frightened and so on. Physical habit breeds insensitivity; obviously a drug habit, a habit of alcohol, smoking, any habit, must make the body insensitive and that affects the mind, the mind which is the totality of perception, the mind that must see very clearly, unconfusedly and in which there need be no conflict whatsoever. Conflict is not only a waste of energy but it also makes the mind dull, heavy, stupid. Such a mind caught in habit is insensitive; from this insensitivity, from this dullness, it will not accept anything new because there is fear (not something new as an idea, an ideology or a new formula that is the very height of stupidity and idiocy). Realizing how this whole process of living in habit breeds insensitivity, causing the mind to be incapable of quick perception, quick understanding, quick movement, we begin to understand fear as it actually is, we see that it is the product of thought and then we ask whether we can look at anything without the whole machinery of thought being brought into operation. I do not know if you have ever looked at anything without the machinery of thought. It does not mean day-dreaming, it does not mean that you become vague, that you wander in a kind of dull stupor, on the contrary, it is to see the whole structure of thought; thought which has a certain value at a certain level and no value at all at a different level. To look at fear, to look at the tree, to look at your wife or your friends, to look with eyes that are completely untouched by thought... when you have done it you will say that fear has no reality whatsoever and that it is the product of thought and like all products of thought except technological products it has no validity at all.
So, by looking at fear and giving it freedom, there is an ending of fear. One hopes that by listening to all this, this morning, listening, actually giving your attention not to the words or the arguments, not to the illogical or to the logical sequence, and so on but actually listening, to see the truth. And if you see the truth of this, of what is being said, you, as you leave this building, will be out of fear.
You know, this world, it is ridden by fear and it is one of the most monstrous problems that each one of us has. Fear of being discovered, fear of exposing oneself, fear that what you have said years ago might be repeated and you are nervous, you lie. You must know the extraordinary nature of fear and that when one lives in fear one lives in darkness. It is a dreadful thing. One is aware of it, one does not know what to do with it, the fear of life, the fear of death, the fear of dreams. As to dreams, one has always accepted as normal that one must have dreams, as habit that one must dream, that it is inevitable; and certain psychologists have said that unless you dream you will go mad. That is, they say the impossible is not to dream at all. And one never asks, 'why should I dream?' 'what is the point of dreaming?' Not the question as to what dreams are and how they are to be interpreted; which becomes too complicated and really has very little meaning. But can one find out if it is at all possible not to dream, so that when one does sleep one sleeps with complete fullness, with complete rest, so that the mind wakes up the next morning fresh, without going through all the battle? I say it is possible.
As we said, we find what is possible only when we go beyond the 'impossible'. Why do we dream? We dream because during the day the conscious mind, the superficial mind, is occupied we are not using any technological terms, please, just ordinary words, no particular jargon during the day the conscious mind is occupied with the job, with going to the office, going to the factory, cooking, washing dishes you know, occupied, superficially and the deeper consciousness is awake and yet not capable of informing the conscious mind because that is superficially occupied. That is simple. When you go to sleep the superficial mind is more or less quiet, but not completely, it is worrying about the office, what you said to the wife and the wife's nagging, you know the fears but it is fairly quiet. But into this relative quietness the unconscious projects and gives hints of its own demands, its own longings, its own fears which the superficial mind then translates into dreams. Have you experimented with this? it is fairly simple. To interpret dreams or say you must have dreams is not so important, but if you can, find out if there is a possibility of not dreaming at all; it is only possible if and when you are aware during the day of every movement of thought, aware of your motives, aware how you walk, how you talk, of what you say, why you smoke, the implications of your work, aware of the beauty of the hills, the clouds, the trees, the mud on the road and your relationship with another. Be aware without any choice, so that you are watching, watching, watching; and be aware that there is also, in that, inattention. If you do that during the whole day your mind becomes extraordinarily sharp, alert, not only the superficial mind, but the whole consciousness, the whole of it, because it is not allowing one secret thought to escape, there is not one recess of the mind which is not touched, which is not exposed. Then when you do sleep your mind becomes extraordinarily quiet, there is no dreaming at all and quite a different activity goes on. The mind that has lived with complete intensity during the day aware of its words and if it makes a mistake, is aware of that mistake, it does not say 'I must not' or 'I must fight it', it is with it, looking at it, being completely aware of the mistake has awakened the whole quality of consciousness; when it goes to sleep it has already thrown away all the old things of yesterday.
Fear (am I putting you all to sleep?) fear is not an insoluble problem. When there is an understanding of fear, there is an understanding of all the problems related to that fear. When there is no fear there is freedom. And when there is this complete psychological inward freedom and non-dependence, then the mind is untouched by any habit. You know, love is not habit, love cannot be cultivated habits can be cultivated and for most of us love is something so far away that we have never known the quality of it, we do not even know the nature of it. To come upon love there must be freedom; he mind is completely still, within its own freedom, then there is the 'impossible' which is love.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 8th Public Talk 23rd July 1968
I think every human being asks for some experience that will be transcendental, some feeling, or a state of mind, that is not caught in the everyday monotony, in the loneliness and the boredom of life. We all want something to live for. We want to give a meaning to life, for we find it rather weary full of turmoil and apparently meaningless; so we invent a purpose, a significance; we fill our lives with words, with symbols, with shadows. Most of us unwillingly accept a superficial life yet giving to it a great mystery.
There is a mystery something quite incredible which is not to be captured through belief, not through an experience or any longing. There is a 'mystery' really one should not use that word there is something that cannot be put into words; it has nothing whatever to do with sentiment, with an emotional explosion and it can come only when we are not caught in 'the known'. And most of us do not even know what 'the known' is and so without basically understanding our nature with its crude animal instincts, its violence and aggression we try to reach out, mentally, or through some meditative process to a vision, a feeling of an 'otherness'. I think that is what most of us it does not matter what we are, Communist, or Catholic, or belonging to some little sect as an entertainment grope after; we all want something that will be incredibly beautiful, inviolable, not in the net of time.
We are caught in 'the known' and 'the known', the knowledge of ourselves, is so difficult to understand. It is so difficult to look at ourselves, face to face, without the mediation of any prejudice, of any opinion, any judgment just to look at ourselves as we are. We have inherited, from the animal, the ape, all the instincts and reactions; we have grown with all the traditions and cultures; those are the things at which we are unwilling to look those are the known'.
If we could only look into ourselves. Most of us, unfortunately seem unwilling to do so, we want to find something extraordinarily beautiful, something noble, yet without being willing to acknowledge what actually is, the actual conscious or unconscious known, though most of us do not know it. We are so frightened to go beyond this 'known; to go beyond it we must examine it, we must be completely intimate with it familiar with it, understand the structure and the nature of it. The mind cannot go beyond the facts of the known if it has not completely, totally, understood and lived in intimate contact with all the movements of thought, of feeling, with the brutality, the animal instincts. Then only can one go beyond and find something which may be called the truth and a beauty that is not separate from love, a state, a different dimension, where there is a movement which is always new, fresh young, decisive.
Why is it that we are so prone to accept? it does not matter what it is why is it that we so easily acquiesce, say 'Yes' to things? To follow is one of our traditions; like the animals in a pack, we all follow the leader, the teachers and gurus; and thereby there is the 'authority'. Where there is authority' there must obviously be fear. Fear gives a certain drive and the energy to achieve success, to achieve a certain promise, hope, happiness and so on. So, is it possible never to accept, but to examine, to explore?
You know, when you are sitting there and the speaker is up on the platform, it is one of the most difficult things not to give him a certain authority. Inevitably this relation high and low, physically brings about a certain quality of acceptance, 'You know, we don't know', 'You tell us what to do, we will follow if we can'. And this, it seems to me, is the most deadly action a mind could ever undertake, to follow anybody, to imitate a pattern set by another. A formula, given by another, leads inevitably to conflict, to misery, to being psychologically afraid; and that is the way in which we live. Part of that framework of authority is the acceptance of that way in which we live and of not being able to go beyond it; we want somebody else to tell us what to do.
To examine ourselves, actually as we are and that actuality is really quite fantastic we need humility; not the harsh humility cultivated by a vain man, not that harshness of the priest or the disciplinarian. We need humility to look, otherwise we cannot look. We are not by nature humble, we are rather arrogant, we think we know a great deal. The older we grow the more arrogant we become, the more assured. Where there is a judgment, an evaluation, a hypothesis of what we should be, or an ideology, a formula, there is no humility.
One of our greatest problems is sorrow. We have accepted sorrow as a way of life, just as we have accepted war as a way of life war not only on the battlefield but war within ourselves the everlasting struggle, both inwardly and outwardly. We have accepted sorrow as a way of life, yet we have never asked if it is at all possible to end sorrow, completely.
I wonder why we suffer at all? We suffer, perhaps, because we are physically unwell, we have a great deal of pain and there is perhaps no remedy; or, the pain is so excruciating, so penetrating that it drives away all reason. In that there is great sorrow, as there is in the whole question of physical disease, physical incapacity, physically growing old, with the pain and the fear of old age. Then there is all the ache and pain in the field of psychological existence; the sorrow that comes when we have no love when we want to be loved, that comes when there is no clarity, when we cannot look at 'what is' with unspotted eyes. There is the sorrow of ignorance, not of books, not of technology - the computers are extraordinarily well informed, but they are ignorant machines - the ignorance with regard to the understanding of what one actually is. That ignorance causes great sorrow, not only within oneself, but with the whole community, with the race, with the people of the world. There is the sorrow of accepting time, time as a means of achieving, gaining some future benediction. And there is, of course, the sorrow of life coming to an end, of death, the death of another, the death of oneself.
The sorrow of physical pain, the sorrow of having no love and the frustrations of self-expression, the sorrow of tomorrow which never comes, the sorrow of living in the world of the known and being always frightened of the unknown all that is the way we live. We have accepted such a way of life and the very acceptance of it creates a barrier to going beyond it. It is only when the mind does not accept, but is always questioning, doubting, demanding, finding out, that it can face what actually is, both outwardly and inwardly and perhaps go beyond this everlasting suffering of man.
So let us explore together and find out if it is possible to end sorrow now not verbally, intellectually, or through reasoning. Thought can never end sorrow; thought can only breed sorrow; to think is to invite sorrow. Thought, the intellectual capacity to reason, however sanely, does not end sorrow; for this we must have a totally different capacity not a capacity that is cultivated through time the capacity to look.
Why do we suffer? First, let us look at psychological suffering, the ache, the loneliness, the pain, the anxiety, the fear, the passing enthusiasms which breed their own troubles. If we can understand those psychological sorrows then perhaps we shall be able to deal with physical pain, with physical disease and old age in which there is incapacity, failing energy, the lack of drive and so on. We will first go into the psychological sorrow and then, in the very act of understanding that, the physical thing will also be understood.
What is sorrow, what would you say? You surely must have had sorrow, the sorrow which expresses itself in tears, in a sense of isolation, a sense of having no relationship, the sorrow in which there is an abundance of self-pity. If you look into yourself and ask that question, 'What is sorrow?', I wonder how you would answer? We are not asking what physical sorrow is, but the feeling of grief, the feeling of utter misery, helplessness, the blank wall that one faces.
I wonder what sorrow means to you or do you avoid it and never come into touch with it at all? The very avoidance of it is another form of sorrow; and that is all that we know. Take death dying. The very avoidance of that word, never looking at it, never facing the inevitable, the very avoidance of it, is it not? a form of sorrow, a form of fear which breeds sorrow. So, what is sorrow? Please do not wait for an explanation. Most of us have felt sorrow in different ways; the demand for self-expression and its fulfilment, yet not being able to achieve that fulfilment, breeds sorrow; wanting to be famous and not having the capacity to achieve fame, that also brings sorrow; the sorrow of loneliness, the sorrow of not having loved and wanting always to be loved; the sorrow of a hope for the future and always being uncertain of that hope. Do look at it, please, for yourself. Do not wait for a description from the speaker.
We know, most of us, what sorrow is, a thwarted emotion, a loneliness, an isolation, a sense of being cut off from everything, a feeling of emptiness, the utter incapacity to face life and the everlasting struggle all that breeds sorrow. We realize that, and we say 'Time will cure it', 'I shall forget it'. 'Some other incident will take place which will be more important, an experience which will be much more real' and so we are always escaping from the actual fact of sorrow, through time. That is, one lives in the memory of the pleasant days that one has had in the past, the recollection of pleasant experiences; one lives in that, which is in time. And also one lives in the future; one avoids the sorrow which is actually there and lives in some future ideology, future hope, belief. From this cycle we have never been able to escape, we have never been able to end it and break through; on the contrary, the whole Western world worships sorrow go into any church and you will see sorrow worshipped; in the East they explain by various Sanskrit words which really have no meaning at all as cause and effect, therefore you suffer and so on and on. When you realize all this, when you see it very clearly, factually, touch it, taste it, then you ask yourself whether it is possible to go beyond all this. And how are you to go beyond it? This is really a very important question which each one of us must answer.
You know, when you first see those mountains, distant, majestic, completely aloof from the ugliness of life, the beauty of the line and the light of the sunset on it, then the very magnificence of it makes the mind silent. You are stunned by it. But the silence which those hills, mountains and green valleys produce is quite artificial. It is like a child with a toy. The toy absorbs the interest of the child and when the toy has been sufficiently played with and broken up he loses interest in it and then becomes wandering, mischievous. Similarly, we are awakened by something great, some great challenge, a great crisis, it makes us suddenly quiet, then we come out of that silence which may last for a few minutes or a few days and we are back again.
There is this enormous fact of sorrow which man has never been able to go beyond; he may escape from it through drink, through all the various forms of escapes, but that is not going beyond, that is avoiding it. Now, there is the fact as the fact of death, as the fact of time can you look at it with complete silence? Can you look at your own sorrow with complete silence; not that the thing is so great, of such magnitude, of such complexity that it forces you to be quiet, but the other way round, can you look at it, knowing the magnitude, knowing how extraordinarily complex life and living and death are? Can you look at it completely objectively and silently? I think that is the way out. I use the words 'I think' hesitatingly, but really that is the only way out.
If the mind is not silent, quiet, how can it understand anything, how can it grasp, look at, be completely intimate and familiar with death, with time or with sorrow? And what is that which says 'I am in sorrow', 'I am miserable', 'I have spent days in conflict, in misery, in hopeless despair'? What is that thing which keeps on repeating, 'I can't sleep', 'I've not been well', 'I am this, I am that', 'I am unhappy', 'You have not looked at me', 'You have not loved me', what is that thing which keeps on talking to itself? Surely, it is thought. We come back to that primary thing, thought, which has sought pleasure and been thwarted, which complains 'I have lost somebody whom I loved, and I'm lonely, I'm miserable, full of sorrow, which is self-pity, pitying oneself. Again it is thought, as the memory of companionship, the memory of pleasant days which have gone, which had hidden the loneliness, the emptiness within oneself; and thought begins to complain 'I am unhappy' which is the very nature of self-pity.
So can you look at yourself, yourself being the whole of that complex entity, thought with its self-pity, with its pain, with its anxieties, fears, aggressions, brutality, sexual demands, urges can you look at yourself completely, silently? And when you have so looked at yourself then you can perhaps ask, what is death?
If one can look, listen, then one can honestly ask, what is death? What does it mean, to die? this is not only a question for the old but for every human being as one asks, what is love? What is pleasure? What is beauty? What is the nature of real human relationship in which there is no image interfering? So also must one ask this fundamental question as of love and beauty what is death? We dare not ask it, probably because we are a little frightened. One may say to oneself 'I would like to experience that state of dying to be really conscious as one dies', so one takes drugs to keep awake, to watch for the very moment when the breath ceases, because one wants to experience that extraordinary moment when life is not. So, what is death, what is dying, coming to an end? not 'what happens after', that is so irrelevant, that you can invent so many theories, beliefs, hopes, formulas. To die not with old age or disease, as when the whole organism wears down and one slips off, not at that last moment but actually to die as one is living, full of vitality, energy, intensity, the capacity to explore. So, what is it, 'to die', not tomorrow but today, to find out? It is not a morbid question. Do you not want to know, deeply, for yourself, through all your nerves, brain, through everything that you have, do you not want to know what it means to love? Do you not want to know what it means, to have that extraordinary blessing and to know with the same eagerness, vitality, what death is? How are you going to find out? To die, implies does it not? the quality of innocence. But we are not innocent people, we have had a thousand experiences, a thousand years, it is all there, in the very brain cells themselves. Time has cultivated aggression, brutality, violence, the sense of domination and oh! so many experiences. Our minds are not innocent, clear, fresh, young, they have been spotted, tortured, twisted.
To ask what innocency is one has to live it and to know what death is. Surely, it is only when you die to everything that you know, psychologically, inwardly, when you die to your past, die to it naturally, freely, happily, that out of that death there is innocency, there is a freshness eyes that have never been spotted. Can one do that? Can one put away, easily, without effort, the things that one has clung to? The pleasant and the unpleasant memories, the sense of 'my family' 'my children', 'my God', 'my husband', 'my wife' and all the self-centred activity that goes on and on, can one put all that away? voluntarily, not through compulsion, through fear, through necessity, but with the ease that comes when you look at the problem of living a living which is full of strife, a battlefield. To end all that, to step out of it, to be an 'outsider' as regards all that can one do it? Do listen to the question. Can one do it? You may say 'No, I can't, it's not possible'. When you say it is not possible you mean that it is possible only if you know what will happen when all that ends. That is, you will give up one thing when you are assured of another. You say that it is not possible only because you do not know what the 'impossible' is. And to find that, is to be aware of both the possible and the 'impossible' and to go beyond. Then you will see for yourself that all that psychological accumulation that you have gathered can be put aside with such ease; only then you know what living is. Living is to die, to die every day to everything that you have fought with and gathered, the self-importance, the self-pity, the sorrow, the pleasure and the agony of this thing called living. That is all we know and to see it all the mind must be extraordinarily quiet. The very seeing of the whole structure is the discipline the very seeing disciplines. And then, perhaps, we will know what it means to die; we will know then what it means to live, not this tortured life, but a life which is entirely different, a life that has come into being through a deep psychological revolution that is not a deviation from life.
I would like to talk next time, if I may, of a thing which is really as important as love and the beauty of love and the significance of death; it is meditation. What we should do, if it is possible, is to go into this question of how we can live totally, differently, of how to bring about this immense psychological revolution, so that there is no aggression, but intelligence. Intelligence can be above both aggression and non-aggression because it understands the way of aggression and violence. Such a revolution brings about a life of highest sensitivity and therefore highest intelligence. I think that is the only question, how to live a life of great bliss, of great intensity, so that knowing the very nature and structure of one's being which is rooted in the animal, in the ape one goes beyond it.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 9th Public Talk 25th July 1968
WE ARE GOING to talk over together a rather complex problem. Most of us function in fragments political, religious, social, individual, family and so on. We do not seem to be able to find for ourselves an action which will be total not broken up into fragments and which will answer all the issues comprehensively. We do not seem to be able to live a total, complete and full life and we are always trying to find an action that will somehow bring a total contentment, a total satisfaction in whatever we are doing, whether we are professional people, politicians, or religious persons. It seems almost impossible to find an activity that will answer all these issues without contradiction, without a feeling of insufficiency.
This morning we can go into a question that perhaps will answer this need for comprehensive and total activity in which there is no division, in which there is no pulling of one action against another. We are going to talk over together this question of meditation. Some of you, perhaps, may think that meditation is merely an entertaining individual experience to find something that is beyond the measure of the mind. Some of you may think it is merely an unnecessary introduction to something that has no value when we are concerned with daily living. And some of you, perhaps, have already experimented according to some systems of meditation from the Far East, the Near East or the Middle East.
Before we go into it I think we should lay down, for clarification, certain absolute necessities. Firstly, we must be free of all hypocrisy, there must be no pretension whatsoever, no double standard of life, no double activity the saying of one thing the doing of another every form of self-deception is ruled out. And most of us are so delicately balanced between hypocrisy and the desire to tell the truth. We are so pretentious, having experienced some footling little vision or emotional state which we think is the absolute end of everything! So, is it possible for the mind, for the whole of one's being, in action, in thought, to be completely honest and not hypocritical? That is very important; if one is at all hypocritical, in any way, then it leads to self-deception, illusion. A mind that is wanting to find out what right meditation is must in no way be intent with this double standard of life, a way into which one so easily slips, saying one thing and doing another and thinking another thing altogether.
Secondly there must be the highest form of discipline. Most of us dislike that word 'discipline'. Discipline means, I believe, from the root of that word in Latin, to learn. But we have misrepresented or misinterpreted that word to mean conformity, obedience, imitation, in all of which there is involved the suppression of one's own desires, ambitions and needs, in order to conform to a pattern, to a formula, to follow an ideal; in this there is always conflict between the 'what is' and what 'should be'. If one pursues what 'should be' that leads to hypocrisy. And most idealists have if I may put it very gently a tinge of hypocrisy, because they are avoiding 'what is'. Conforming to a pattern of what should be' leads to conflict, struggle, a dual existence and it inevitably leads to double standards and hypocrisy; when we use the word 'discipline' we are using it in a totally different sense. We said there must be the complete and highest form of discipline, without conformity, without suppression, without following an ideology and the creating of a double, dualistic, existence. This discipline is not an external compulsion, or something you impose on yourself as an inward demand to conform, to imitate, to follow, to obey, but rather, in the very act of learning about anything is discipline itself. If
I want to learn a language that language demands that the mind be disciplined; the very learning implies discipline; in that there is no conflict at all. If you do not want to learn a language that is the end of it, but if you do want to learn a language, then the very learning of it brings about its own discipline. So discipline in the highest sense, which is the sensitivity of intelligence, must exist. So that is the second thing.
Thirdly, something which is a little more complex, is this whole problem of gurus. I believe that word in Sanskrit means 'one who points out', he does not take any responsibility for you. That word has been misused, like many other words. The guru, in the ancient of days, was one with whom you lived; he told you what to do, how to look, how to examine. You lived with him and perhaps thereby learned; you were learning not by imitating, not by conforming to the pattern which he set, but through observing. From that grew this whole illusion of gurus. Please, one has to understand this rather deeply because in going to go into this question of meditation, which in itself is very, very complex one must understand the necessity of freedom from all authority, including that of the speaker, so that the mind, that highest form of supreme intelligence, is a light to itself; and that intelligence will not accept any authority, be it of the saviour, the master, the guru, or anybody; it has to be and it is a light to itself; it may make a mistake, it may suffer, but in the very process of suffering, of making a mistake. it is learning and therefore it is becoming a light to itself.
There are so many gurus in the world, the hidden ones and the open ones. Each of them promises that, through conformity to a certain system or method, the mind will arrive at that realization of what truth is; hut no system or method which implies imitation, conformity, following, and thereby fear has any significance whatever for a mind that is enquiring into this whole question of meditation, a question which needs such a very delicate, highly sensitive intelligent mind. The guru is supposed to know and you not to know. He is supposed to be far advanced in evolution and has therefore acquired, through many lives, through many experiences, through following other superior gurus and so on, immense knowledge. And you, who are down below, are gradually going to come to that highest form of knowledge. This whole hierarchical system which exists not only outwardly in society but also inwardly and among the so-called gurus is obviously, when one is enquiring into what is truth, an illusion
Knowledge apart from technology of what value is it? There must be technological, scientific knowledge, you cannot wipe away all that man has accumulated through the centuries. That knowledge must exist, you and I cannot possibly destroy it; the saints and all those who have said mechanical knowledge is useless, they have their own particular prejudice. I can know about myself, most profoundly; yet when there is an accumulation of knowledge, it begins to interpret, to translate what is seen in terms of its own past. As long as there is this burden of knowledge, psychological, inward knowledge, there is no free movement. And there is the difference between the man who is free of that burden and he who says he knows and will lead another to that knowledge, to that supreme thing and if he says he has realized, then you distrust him completely, for a man who says he knows, he does not know. And that is the beauty of truth.
There must be the foundation of right behaviour, of righteousness. We make a mistake, we put in a foundation stone which may not be strong; but put a strong stone there so as to make the foundation unbreakable in virtue. There is no virtue if there is no love; virtue is not a thing to be cultivated so that it becomes a habit, virtue is never a habit, it is a living thing, and the beauty of it is since it is not a habit that it is ever living.
So there must be the foundation of virtue in which there is no hypocrisy whatsoever and therefore no self-deception. And there must be that highest form of discipline, which is a sensitivity of quick action, quick understanding. Discipline is not something that you make into a habit; you have to watch it all the time, every minute, every day. Because if you do not lay that foundation, every form of calamity, deception, hypocrisy, illusion, will come. And as we said, all authority we are talking of inward authority, not the authority of law all inward authority, anchored in knowledge, in experience, in the concept that there is one who knows and the other who does not know, only breeds arrogance and a lack of humility, both on the part of the one who knows and on the part of one who tries to follow him. So when this is firmly established, deeply, then we can proceed to enquire into that extraordinary thing called meditation.
For most of us the word 'meditation' has very little meaning. It is firmly established in the East that 'meditation' means certain ways of thinking, concentrating, the repetition of words and the following of systems all of which deny the freedom and the quickness of the mind. Meditation is not a deviation, or something that is entertainment, it is part of one's whole life. It is as fundamentally important and essential as love and beauty. If there is no meditation, then one does not know how to love, then one does not know what beauty is. And do what one will one may search, go from one religion, from one book, from one activity to another, always seeking to find out what truth is one never will find out, because the 'search' for truth implies that a mind can find it and has the capacity to say 'that is truth'. But does one know what truth is? Can one recognize it? If one recognizes it, it is already something of the past. So truth cannot be found through search; either it must come uninvited, or, if one is lucky, by chance. Meditation is not an escape from life, not a particular, individual process of one's own.
There is no path to truth. There is not your path or my path. There is no Christian way to it, or Hindu way to it. A 'way' implies a static process to something which is also static. There is a way from here to that next village, the village is firmly there, rooted in the buildings, and there is a road to it. But truth is not like that, it is a living thing, a moving thing and therefore there can be no path to it, neither yours nor mine nor theirs. That must be very clear in one's mind, in one's understanding; for man has invented so many ways, he has said that you must do this in order to find like the Communists who say that theirs is the only way to govern people, implying tyranny, dictatorship, brutality, murder. When one has cleared the field, cleared the decks, then one can proceed to find out what meditation is. And it is not a monopoly of the East that is one of the most monstrous things, to say that there are those who will teach you how to meditate, that obviously is the... I will not use adjectives!
Let us proceed to find out for ourselves not as individuals, but as human beings living in this world with all the extraordinary complexity of modern society, as we are let us try to find out what love is. Not 'find' it, but be in that state of perfection, in that quality of mind which is not burdened with jealousy, with misery, with conflict, self-pity. Then only there is a possibility of living in a different dimension which is love. And as love is of immense importance, so is meditation.
How shall we I am asking this not casually but seriously how shall we proceed with this problem? the fairly obvious problem that our minds are conditioned, our minds are everlastingly chattering, never quiet. We try to impose quietness or it happens casually, by chance. To proceed with this problem, to learn, to see, there must be the quietness of a mind that is not broken up, that is not torn apart, that is not tortured. If I want to see something very clearly, the tree, or the cloud, or the face of a person next to me, to see very clearly without any distortion, the mind must not be chattering, obviously. The mind must be very quiet to observe, to see. And the very seeing is the doing and the learning. So what is meditation? Is meditation possible using the word with the meaning given in the dictionary, not the extraordinary meaning given by those who think they know what meditation is; is it possible to consider, to observe, to comprehend, to learn, to see very clearly, without any distortion, to hear everything as it is, not interpreting it, not translating it according to one's prejudice? When you listen to the bird of a morning is it possible to listen to it completely without a word cropping up into your mind, to listen to it with total attention, to listen to it without saying how beautiful, how lovely, what a lovely morning? All that means that the mind must be silent and the mind cannot be silent when there is any form of distortion. That is why one must understand every form of conflict, between the individual and society, between the individual and the neighbour, between himself, his wife, his children, her husband and so on. Any form of conflict, at any level, is a distorting process. When there is contradiction within oneself, which arises when one wants to express oneself in various different ways and one cannot, then there is a conflict, there is a struggle, there is a pain, it distorts the quality, the subtlety, the quickness of the mind.
Meditation is the understanding of the nature of life with its dual activity, its conflict; seeing the true significance and truth of it, so that the mind though it has been conditioned for thousands of years, living in conflict, in struggle, in battle becomes clear, without distortion. The mind sees that distortion must take place when it follows an ideology, the idea of what should be as opposed to what is, hence a duality, a conflict, a contradiction and so a mind that is tortured, distorted, perverted. There is only one thing, that which is, in the sense of being disciplined to imitate, to conform, to accept and obey is always frightened. Such a mind can never be still, it can only pretend to be still. And the quiet mind is not possible through the use of any drug or through the repetition of words; you can reduce it to dullness, but it is not quiet.
Meditation is the ending of sorrow, the ending of thought which breeds fear and sorrow the fear and sorrow in daily life, when you are married, when you go to business. in business you must use your technological knowledge, but when that knowledge is used for psychological purposes to become more powerful, occupy a position that gives you prestige, honour, fame it breeds only antagonism and hatred; such a mind can never possibly understand what truth is. Meditation is the understanding of the way of life, it is the understanding of sorrow and fear and going beyond them. To go beyond them is not merely to grasp intellectually or rationally the significance of the process of sorrow and fear, but it is actually to go beyond them. And to go beyond is to observe and to see very clearly sorrow and fear as they are; in seeing very clearly the 'observer' must come to an end.
Meditation is the way of life, it is not an escape from life. Obviously meditation is not the experiencing of visions or having strange mystical experiences; as you know, you can take a drug that will expand your mind, it will produce certain reactions chemically, which will make the mind highly sensitive and in that sensitive state you may see things heightened, yet according to your conditioning. And meditation is not a repetition of words; you know, there has been the fashion lately of someone giving you a word, a Sanskrit word, you keep on repeating it and thereby hope to achieve some extraordinary experience which is all utter nonsense. Of course, if you keep on repeating a lot of words your mind is made dull and thereby quiet; but that is not meditation at all. Meditation is the constant understanding of the way of life, every minute, the mind being extraordinarily alive, alert, not burdened by any fear, any hope, any ideology, any sorrow. And if we can go together that far and I hope some of us have been able to go actually and not theoretically that far then we enter into something quite different.
As we said at the beginning, you cannot go very far without laying the foundation of this understanding of daily life, the daily life of loneliness, of boredom, of excitement, of sexual pleasures, of the demands to fulfil, to express oneself, the daily life of conflict between hate and love, life in which one demands to be loved, a life of deep inward loneliness; without understanding all that, without distorting, without becoming neurotic, being completely, highly sensitive and balanced, without that being there you cannot go very far. And when that is deeply laid, then the mind is capable of being completely quiet and therefore completely at peace which is entirely different from being contented, like a cow then alone is it possible to find out if there is something beyond the measure of the mind, if there is such a thing as reality, as God, something which man has sought for millions of years; something which he has sought through his gods and temples, through sacrificing himself, by becoming a hermit and all the absurdities and inventions that man has gone through.
You know, up to a certain point, up to now, verbal explanation, verbal communication, is possible but beyond that there is no communication, verbally which does not imply some mysterious, metaphysical or parapsychological thing. Words exist only for communicating purposes, for communicating something that may be expressed in words, or through a gesture.
But it is not possible to put into words what is beyond all this, to describe it becomes so utterly meaningless. All that one can do is to open the door, that door which is kept open only when there is this order not the order of society which is disorder the order that comes into being when you see actually 'what is', without any distortion brought about by the 'observer'. When there is no distortion at all, then there is order, which in itself brings its own extraordinary, subtle discipline. And to leave that door open is all that one can do, whether that reality comes through that door or not one cannot invite it and if one is very lucky, by some strange chance, it may come and give its blessing. You cannot seek it. After all, that is beauty and love, you cannot seek it, if you seek it, it becomes merely the continuation of pleasure, which is not love. There is bliss which is not pleasure; when the mind is in that state of meditation, there is immense bliss; then the everyday living, with its contradictions, its brutalities and violence, has no place. But one must work very hard, every day, to lay the foundation; that is all that matters, nothing else. Out of that silence which is the very nature of a meditative mind may come love and beauty.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 10th Public Talk 28th July 1968
IT MUST HAVE happened to many of us, when we are walking alone in a wood, when the sun is just about to set, that there comes a peculiar quietness. There is no movement of air, the birds have stopped singing and there is not a leaf stirring your own sense of quietness, a sense of aloofness, comes over you. As you watch, as you listen to the beauty of the evening, in that extraordinary quietness when almost everything seems to be motionless, you are then in complete communion, in complete harmony, with everything about you there is no thought, not a word, there is no judgment or evaluation, there is no sense of separateness. I am sure you must have felt all this, walking alone, leaving all your burdens, worries and problems at home, following a path along a river which is always chattering; your mind is very quiet and you feel totally at peace, with an extraordinary sense of beauty and love, a feeling that no words can describe. I am sure you have had such experience, but in describing it, as you are sitting here, in putting into words that peculiar quietness that comes of an evening, you listen with the motive to capture that quality; then because you have a motive, that quality will not come. Similarly, a motive is going to prevent you from listening to the speaker. He is merely describing something he has no motive and if you seek with a motive to possess that which he describes, however subtly, or enviously or aggressively, then communication between the speaker and yourself comes to an end. You have a motive and the speaker has none. He is just telling it; not to amuse you, not to tell you what a wonderful thing he had and so awaken envy in you because you also want to have that kind of experience, for then there is misunderstanding between ourselves.
We live in a world of misunderstanding. One thing is said and it is interpreted according to your background, to your desires, to your complex nature and so there is misunderstanding. This division between a fact and how you interpret that fact creates misunderstanding. And that which we are going to go into, this morning, is of necessity rather complex and yet it must be expressed in words. Words have a form and content, both to you and to the speaker and if that form and content is not very clear between the speaker and your self, there is misunderstanding and you can live in a world apart from that which is being said. So we must be very clear, in communicating with each other, how we listen to the word and as to what kind of design that word creates. After all, one uses words to communicate and if the content, the design, the form of the word, is not very clear to each of us, then we live in separate worlds, we each have a separate understanding which may be misunderstanding or it may not be misunderstanding. So words become extraordinarily dangerous unless we use them without any motive, as when merely telling you that the tree is green, that it is a lovely day. But when I say 'I've had the most marvellous experience of reality', the intention and the motive then, is to awaken in you envy I have had it, you have not. I have had this most precious thing which you also must have. In that case my motive is to awaken your envy, your aggression, or thereby perhaps you will follow me, put me on a pedestal. This is happening all the time around us. Someone says, 'I have realized God' or 'I have had the supreme experience', that is said with the motive (obviously, otherwise he would not say it) to awaken this aggressive envy in you. So both he who says 'I've had the most marvellous experience' and you who are greedy to get it, live in a world of misunderstanding and communication then is not possible. That is fairly clear. Similarly it is not possible for your mind to be very quiet if there is any intent or motive when you walk in the woods by yourself, for then there is no word, there is no sentence, there is no 'observer' with all the complex nature of his conditioning, his demands, his envy, his desire to oppress and exploit, and all that; he is just there walking quietly unaware of himself. There is no 'observer' and hence he is totally relationship with everything about him. In that there is no separativeness, no division, no judgment, but a complete unity which may, perhaps, be called love. And if this is somewhat clear how we invariably misunderstand, every word having a different meaning to each one of us, not only the content of that word, but every word awakening desire and various emotional qualities and if this does not take place, then it is possible to explore. That is what we are going to do if we can this morning; each of us being aware of the dangerous of the word, of the design the mind is going to make out of that word, giving it a content which the speaker may not intend at all; and each of us being aware that there will therefore be misunderstanding between us, you going away with one impression, another individual having a separate meaning; and the speaker may not have what you think he has.
We must be very careful, extraordinarily aware and intelligent, when we explore into the nature of religion. When you hear that word 'religion', obviously, if you are very highly intellectual and live in this modern, sophisticated world, you say 'What rot you're talking, why do you bring the word in? that word is merely a distraction, an invention of the priests, of the capitalists, and so on. So that word 'religion' we are talking of mere words awakens in your mind a certain content, a certain form, which you either accept or reject, whereas for the speaker it has none whatsoever. The word has been used by man, seeking something permanent, for thousands of years. Man says: 'I live in this world of passing things; in this world of impermanence; in this world of chaos, disorder, aggression, violence, wars and oppression, in which everything dies; there must be something permanent'. And so he seeks with the motive to find something permanent, something lasting, something that will give him hope, because in this world there is despair, there is agony and at times a passing joy; his motive is to find some kind of everlasting comfort. So what he seeks he is going to find because he has already predetermined what he wants to find. That is fairly simple. To ask the question, 'What is religion?' to explore that, then the word, when you are using that word, must contain no desire, it must not have loaded content. That again is fairly clear.
In asking, 'What is religion?' in the sense of man wanting to find a reality there are two ways of looking at the question, the negative and the positive way. One must deny completely what religion is not; otherwise one has already made up one's mind, one is already conditioned because one feels utterly hopeless without having something to cling to, intellectually, verbally, emotionally; then one cannot possibly explore; then one lives in a world of misunderstanding which one has created for oneself. And if the speaker says, 'Let us examine this question', 'Let us go into it without any bias' and you do not reject what religion is not, then you live on in a world of misunderstanding and therefore go away with a certain confusion, hoping to find out from somebody else what truth is. That being clear, let us go into it.
First of all, man from the ape up to the most civilized man has always asked if there is something other than this world, this world where there is work, trouble, misery, confusion, endless sorrow, conflict mounting, mounting, mounting, problem after problem, wars, one nation against the other, one ideological group opposed to another ideological group. So, seeing all this outwardly and also seeing his own inward confusion, misery, his utter loneliness, the occasional fleeting jot, and the boredom of life just imagine a man spending years or more going to an office every day, how utterly boring it must be to him, yet it offers also an extraordinary escape, escape from himself, escape from the family, from the struggle, there he is, enclosed tight, in competition with others which he enjoys, that's his life so, seeing all this, right from the beginning of time the ancient Egyptians and so on he has always asked if there is something beyond, something more, something which can be called Truth, to which a name may be given. He went out seeking, wanting to find out and the clever ones came along, the priests, the theologians who said, 'Yes, there is such a thing', or they had a saviour, a master, who would tell them what there is. And this energy which went into seeking, wanting to find out was captured and organized, an 'image' was created which became the embodiment of reality and so on and so on. The energy which is necessary in order to find out, was captured, put into a frame of organized belief 'religion' its rituals, with its priests, with its excitement, with its entertainment, with its images that became the means through which you had to go to find out. Obviously that is not religion. To see that very clearly and to deny it completely demands energy. Can we do this? As we said, what is false must be denied to find out what is true. You cannot have one foot in the false and vaguely put out the other foot to find out what is true. We can see very well that fear has brought this structure about the structure of what is called 'the religious life' the fear of this world and of what is going to happen after one dies, the fear of insecurity. Because life is insecure, nothing is secure, nothing is permanent, neither the wife, nor the husband, the family, the nation even if you have a good bank account, may be for as long as you live. So, one realizes that there is absolutely nothing permanent no relationship, nothing and out of that there is fear. Fear is a form of energy and that energy is captured by those who promise 'I know you don't know', 'I have experienced you have not' 'This is real that is not real', 'Follow this system and you will have that thing you are seeking'. Now to see all that as being completely false you must have energy and that energy is dissipated when you have not understood fear. When there is one part of you which is afraid and another part which says 'I must have something permanent' there is contradiction and that is a waste of energy.
So, can one completely set aside every form of that which is called religious organization or belief? which has become a form of entertainment, a distraction. When one sees that, clearly, can one completely put it aside? so that one is not exploited by anybody who promises, or who says 'I have had this experience which is supreme, I am the saviour' so that one has the energy and the state of mind that is not afraid to find out and which therefore is not accepting any authority, it does not matter who, including the speaker. So, in denying completely what is false, what is not religion, then one can proceed to find out, to explore into what it might be, what it is not as an idea but what it is not according to me, or to you, or to anybody else. If it is according to the speaker, then he lives in a world of misunderstanding which he is trying to convey to you, thereby creating further misunderstanding. Is this fairly clear? Or is it getting rather complicated?
You know, every form of conversation or communication is so very difficult, especially when we are dealing with something rather subtle, dealing with the psychological structure of human thought and feeling. Unless you are aware within yourself, as we are talking, listening, then what we are talking about becomes meaningless verbiage. We are talking about the whole content of life, not just one segment; we are talking of the whole field of action, not of fragmented action.
Religion is an action which is complete, total, which covers the whole life not separated as the business life, sexual life, scientific life and the religious life. We live in a world of fragmented actions in contradiction with each other and that is not a religious life; that breeds antagonism, misery, confusion, sorrow. So one has to explore and find out for oneself, not as a separate individual but as a human being, what this action is that is complete each minute, wherever it acts whether in the family, or in the business world, or whatever it is, in painting, talking a complete, total action, without any contradiction in itself, therefore an action which does not breed misery. That is a way of religious life, that is the positive. We have denied what religion is not and we are saying what it is. Then, if there is such action, there is a life of harmony, a life in which there is unity between man and man, not contradiction, not hate, not antagonism such as one observes every religion to have bred, though they talk of love, though they talk of peace.
Religion is a way of life in which there is inward harmony, a feeling of complete unity. As we said, when you walk in the woods, silently, with the light of the setting sun on top of the mountains or on a leaf, there is complete union between you and that. There is no 'you' at all there is no 'word'. There is no 'observer' which is the word and the content or the design of that word there is no 'observer' at all, therefore there is no contradiction. Please, do not go off into some emotional, speculative state; this means very hard work, to see very clearly the way we are living, fragmentarily, opposed, antagonistic to each other, awakening aggression, violence, hate. In that state there is no possibility of unity and unity means love. So, a religious way of life is the total action in which there is no fragmentation at all, the fragmentation which takes place so long as there is the 'observer', the word, the content of that word, the design and all the memory. So long as that entity, the 'observer', exists, there must be contradiction in action.
It is not possible to end hate by its own opposite you understand? If I hate somebody and out of that hate I say, 'I must not hate, I must love', the love is the outcome of that hate. Every opposite has its roots in that of which it is the opposite.
We live in a world not only outwardly but inwardly with things known. That is, I know the past of my own activity; I know through my past conditioning; I live in the 'known' which is an obvious fact, it does not need great explanation. The intellectual, the scientific, the business, the everyday life, is within the field of the known. We are afraid to move out of that dimension. We feel there is a different dimension, which is not the known, we are afraid of that, and we are afraid to let go of the known, the past, the familiar, the habitual. We are afraid of the unknown; can we be free of that fear and be with the 'unknown' be? If you are afraid of that which you do not know, you begin to create images of it, both outwardly and inwardly. And then there is division, your image and my image however subtle. So, can the mind remain, be, with the unknown, live in it? Because it is only then that there is a renewal of life, that there is something new taking place. But if you always live in the known as most of us do the known projected into tomorrow and you call that the 'unknown', then it is not, it is still the known, as an idea. In that field of the known there is repetition, imitation, conformity, and therefore there is always contradiction.
The 'observer' is the known. When we look at a tree we always look at it with the image of that tree, as that species, as known. You look at your wife, or your husband, or your neighbour, with the image of the known, you never say 'I don't know my wife or my husband; yet remain in that state in which you say 'I really do not know' and see what takes place in that relationship. Then you do not accept, you are sensitive and alert to all the things that are happening to you. and to her; then the relationship is entirely different, there is no image which has been built through habit, through every form of experience and so on through the known. And to live with another in a state of mind without the image, a state in which 'I do not know you and you do not know me', then relationship becomes extraordinarily creative, there is no conflict; then relationship awakens the highest form of sensitivity and intelligence.
So a religious life is a life, in daily existence, of the 'unknown' 'I do not know'. I wonder if you have ever said to yourself 'I really do not know about anything'? You may know through technological knowledge, you may know how to read and so on, but inwardly, psychologically, have you ever said 'I do not know', and meant it, without having become neurotic about it? If you have ever done it, not verbally but actually, then you will have seen that all conditioning disappears. To say to oneself 'I do not know' and live that state, demands immense energy, because everybody around you functions in the 'known' your wife, your husband, everything around you is from within the 'known'. And when you say you do not know you are always in danger and it demands a great deal of energy and intelligence to remain in that state. Therefore the mind is always learning; and learning is not accumulation.
Life is action, to live means to act; the religious life is a life of action, not according to any particular pattern, but action in which there is no contradiction, action which is not segmented, broken up as the business life, the social life, political life, religious life, family life and so on, as a Conservative or as a Liberal. To see that there is an action which is not fragmented, which is total, complete, and to live that way, is the religious life. You can only act in that way when there is love to love. And love is not pleasure, cultivated and sustained by thought; love is not a thing to be cultivated. It is only love that brings about this total action and that can possibly bring about this complete sense of unity.
The 'unknown' is not something extraordinary; living within the 'known' makes the 'unknown' into its opposite, something contradictory. But when you understand the nature of the 'known', the past experiences, the images that one has built up about the world, as the nations, as the races, the differentiation between various religious dogmatic beliefs, those are all the known and if the mind is not caught in it there can be love; otherwise, do what you will, have innumerable organizations to bring about peace in the world, there will be no peace.
Then one asks further, can a human being, you and I, or another, can we come upon life that has no death? can we come upon a life that is really timeless? which means a life in which thought, which creates the psychological time with its fear, comes to an end. Thought has its own importance, but psychologically it has no importance whatsoever. Thought is a mischief maker, thought is always seeking pleasure, inwardly; love is not pleasure, love is bliss, something entirely different. And when all that is seen very clearly and one lives that way not verbally, not in a world of misunderstanding, but when all that is very clear, very simple then perhaps there is a life that has no beginning and no end, a life of timelessness.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 1st Public Dialogue 31st July 1968
Krishnamurti: I wonder what we are trying to do during these so-called discussions, which are really dialogues, talking things over together. Are we merely trying to express something only intellectually, or are we trying to understand a way of living that is different from that which we are accustomed to? Or are we exposing ourselves as we are, so that we can see for ourselves our moods, tendencies, idiosyncrasies, the states of our own mind and heart, so that there might be a possibility of change? Is this what we are trying to do during these discussions? I hope we are trying to explore into ourselves, not according to a specialist, a philosopher, or an analyst, but actually to see ourselves as we are. If we are going to do that, then we must establish a communication between ourselves from the very beginning.
To communicate with each other we must use words, obviously, but each word, for each person, is heavily loaded; each word creates in us a form, a design, a content. This design, content, form, is actually the 'me', the thinker, the observer. And if we are merely trying to communicate with each other verbally, then it will be very difficult to understand each other. So there is that difficulty, which is: a sentence, a word, an idea, may be so deeply engrained in each one of us, that we can't go beyond it; we translate, interpret everything that we hear according to that background. Whether we are intellectual or emotional, scientific or artistic, everything is translated according to that frame in which we live and function. And perhaps the speaker has not got that difficulty at all; therefore how can we communicate so that we understand each other completely, thoroughly, so that there is no misunderstanding? There is also another form of communication, which is silence. But we cannot come to that quality of silence, whose nature and structure is quite peculiar, if we do not establish between us a communication which will not lead to misunderstanding.
So we have this problem to communicate with each other first verbally, so that the words don't become a barrier, but rather a help in clearing up our understanding of ourselves; that must be established between us first. Then there is a form of communion which is non-verbal, which needs that peculiar quality of attention and ease. You know, it's like two very intimate friends they don't have to say very much, they don't have to go into long complicated explanations, they understand each other in that very silence in which there is communion of friendship, an exposing of oneself to the other, in which there is affection, love. These are the two issues we must first understand, before we can go into the question whether it is at all possible to establish a communication in which there will not be the slightest misunderstanding, so that when the speaker says: two plus two make four, you don't make five out of it; or when you say: two and two make four, I don't make it into six. Both of us must establish that very clearly and very definitely, so that we don't get confused by the form, by the design, by the content of the word. When that is very clear, then we can go on to the next dimension, which is to commune with each other without words, so that there is an empathy, a feeling, a sense of closeness in which there is no barrier. Can these two go together at the same time not one, or the other, first?
If we could do this, that both of these dimensions operate at the same time, then there would be a possibility of really understanding each other. That is, understanding our problems, our daily struggles, sorrows, conflicts, despair, loneliness, irritation, anger, hate and all the rest of it. To really commune in silence with each other is going to be very difficult, because there is always the examiner, the censor, the observer, who separates himself from the thing observed, seen or thought. And when there is this division between the observer and the observed, communion with the observed comes to an end. That is going to be one of our major difficulties to listen to each other without the listener; and the listener is the word, the form, the design, the content, the tradition which is the 'me', the ego, the habitual entity which functions in a routine. So when we are talking over our problems together, can we listen, observe, be silent without the examiner, without the entity that says, 'This is right, this is wrong, this should be, this must not be, I am right, you are wrong, my opinion is better than yours', and so on? Can we do this? So that you and I see the same thing at the same time with the same intensity otherwise we are not in communion with each other. If you or I are not intense at the same time, at the same level, how can we communicate, how can we feel together in examining something? So we will try; we will go into this as we go along.
Having said that and I hope it is somewhat clear and we will make it clearer as we go along what shall we talk over together? If we are going to talk something over together, we must be serious, so that we can look into it very, very closely, intimately; we must go into that thing completely whatever the problem is so that at the end of this hour you are actually free of that problem, do not carry it over for another year, or for another day. To examine a problem intellectually has no validity at all, saying: 'I must', 'I should'. Ideology is an invention of the intellect. If we are going to talk at the intellectual, verbal level, then it is not worth it, it has no meaning as far as I am concerned. So, if we are going to discuss any human, psychological, inward problems, we must be very clear that we are not offering opinions, judgments, evaluations but that we are actually examining, exploring: you cannot explore if you offer an opinion about what you think 'should be', or 'must be'. You can only examine when you are looking very closely, attentively, with your heart, with your mind, when you give yourself to look.
Sow what can we talk over together?
Questioner: You have said that one cannot invite reality, that all one can do is to open the door, and this means that the mind must be completely quiet, silent, then, perhaps if one is lucky, maybe truth and reality will come in. Why do you say 'lucky', 'perhaps'?
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. Do you want to discuss that? Let's forget what I have said, because there is no authority here. It is no good saying 'Yesterday you said that, what do you mean by it'? What we are trying to do is not to repeat, or say: 'Please explain what you meant by that'. You have your daily problems of despair, of loneliness we have a dozen problems, all interrelated, and if you say 'Please don't bother about that, but tell me what you meant by what you said yesterday', it becomes rather meaningless. The question was: 'you said all that one can do is to leave the door open, then, if one is lucky, perhaps truth or reality can come in. Why do you say ''perhaps'' and ''if you are lucky'''? If you leave the door open, if there is fresh air outside, it will come in. Do you want to discuss that? Or do you want to ask something else?
Questioner (1): Am I selfish if I refuse responsibility?
Questioner (2): Can we talk about children, as regards communication and teaching, parenthood and bringing up children?
Questioner (3): How can we remain earnest in self-study without stimulating desire?
Questioner (4): Could we talk about identification?
Questioner (5): The search for spirituality seems to lead to indifference.
Krishnamurti: I am rather stuck. You see, if I were sitting there and somebody else was sitting here, I would like to know, I would ask him, how to live rightly? How to live? What is involved? Because what is involved in our life is in such chaos, such contradiction; intellect, activity, feeling, thought, all go in different directions all tearing at each other. We are broken up entities. And if I were there and somebody else was here, I would say, 'Look, I know this, I am fully aware of how I behave in the office, or at home and so on, in contradiction, inwardly broken up; how am I to live a life that is complete, whole, full?' Don't you also want to know that?
Krishnamurti: Ah no! (Laughter) You see the danger? you are used to listening, to being told. Why didn't you ask me that?
Questioner: It is completely impossible to ask this question, because in the very asking we are accepting the authority of one person, or maybe five hundred people who are here. I think you have to go through the problem in your life to come to a conclusion.
Krishnamurti: You see Sir, I have a horror of conclusions, because conclusions are a pattern according to which I am going to live. But leave all that aside. What we just stated, would that be the real issue, would you be interested in talking that over?
Krishnamurti: Don't say 'Yes' casually because if you go into it very deeply, it may revolutionize your life and you may not want it. You may never go to the office again (I don't say you will or you won't; or you may do something which is real and may therefore be tremendously revolutionary. So if you really want to talk about that in the sense of not merely seeing this contradiction, this fragmentation in selves, as the intellect, as the emotions, as thought, as action if you see that for yourself, and it's your recognition, your awareness of it, then the inevitable question would be: what am I to do? And then, perhaps later on, we can go into this question of reality, the urge to identify with oneself, with something else, and so on.
If this is what you really want to discuss, let's go into it. Shall we?
First of all, am I aware, conscious, that I lead a fragmentary life? (Don't give a tremendous significance to awareness, just keep it, at its lowest level.) Do I know that I lead a contradictory life? a life of hypocrisy, because contradiction means hypocrisy. You may not like that word. I say one thing and do anther. Do I know that my life is broken up? Can one say this as one says 'I am hungry'? Nobody can question that because if you are hungry, you know it. In the same way, do you know that your life is a complex of contradictions? Or, do you know it because somebody tells you so? The two states are different, aren't they? You know for yourself when you are hungry, nobody has to tell you that. In the same way, do you know for yourself that your life is contradictory: love and hate, a contradictory, dualistic existence? If you know it, first of all how does it come into being? Why do I have this contradiction in me? Is it natural and must I therefore accept it, or is it something that has been brought about through society, civilization, culture and so on, or by my own relationship to everything in life? Is my relationship to nature, to other people, to ideas, always dualistic? (I don't know if you are following?) Before I can do anything with it, I must know how it comes about.
I say, I love my wife or husband and I dislike so many people, or I hate somebody. Immediately there is contradiction. I want to tell the truth and I lie, because I am afraid; in that there is a contradiction. I want to fulfil, express myself and I can't; or I express myself so badly that it creates misunderstanding and that causes fear, there is anxiety and so on. Then there is the 'good' and the 'bad', the pattern which I have been following for years, and I am afraid to let that go because I don't know what will happen. So I live a contradictory life during the day, and when I sleep, through dreams. Why does it arise in me? I want to lead a harmonious, peaceful life, be non-aggressive, quiet; I want to live fairly, without too much ugliness. And I do everything that brings ugliness why? Is it because (I am just suggesting, I am not saying it is so) I am afraid? Because I am afraid I become aggressive, because I am afraid I am not free to say 'Yes, this is a lie' or to acknowledge to myself that I am a hypocrite. Because I pretend to be something, I have an image about myself which I dare not destroy. Is it due to fear or insecurity? (I am talking about inward insecurity). Do you say, 'I like your examination, your exploration, what you find'? We know only fools give advice! We are not fools, I hope, so don't give me advice. I want to find out why I lead this kind of double life with all its complexities: the hypocrisy, the neurotic states, isolating myself from others and so on.
Are we communicating with each other because we are silent, or are we silent because we are looking? Are we silent because we are looking at ourselves, or are we silent because we have understood or seen this contradiction seen it, without reacting to it yet and therefore seeing is silence. I wonder if you get this?
Questioner: I am hesitating because of the responsibility involved in this.
Krishnamurti: Ah! The reaction of responsibility comes a little later. Because we are silent, do we see together what is taking place in us? (May I point out here that we are not having a mass or group analysis, or a confession. We are looking at a problem which is individual and therefore human.) This kind of contradictory life exists everywhere you go, even with the hermits, with the monks in India, in Japan; every human being has this problem. So when we are considering it, we are looking at the whole human problem, not my problem. When you reduce the whole problem to 'my' problem, you make it very small. But if you regard it as a human problem a human being living in Switzerland, in India, Japan, Russia, America if you have the feeling of humanity, then perhaps in that looking we may communicate with each other at a different level, which isn't mere sentiment, an emotional state. Here is a problem and I am looking at it, therefore I am silent. And what you say out of that silence will have meaning.
Questioner: Sir, we are now facing the fact of hypocrisy; that's what we are doing now.
Krishnamurti: Are we facing the fact that one is a hypocrite ? We are not. We are facing the fact that our life is contradictory, broken up that's all. The condemnation or the justification comes afterwards, saying: 'It is a hypocritical action', 'It is a right action', but before you react to what you see, do you see it actually as it is? When I have lied, told something which is not so, do I see it? And if I see it, what happens? This is where it is important; that is why I am insisting on this. I am confronting a fact: that I have lied; that's a fact, I am looking at it. I am looking at it without justification, without saying, 'How terrible to lie', or 'I am frightened, therefore I lied' those are all explanations, and those explanations, those reactions, prevent me from looking at the fact that I have lied. So when I look at that fact, or the fact that my life is contradictory, what is the relationship between the observer and the thing he is looking at? If I am looking at the fact silently there is only the fact right?
Questioner: There is always the image looking at an image; in looking at what is the relationship between the observer and the observed, in considering the question, there is always another observer.
Krishnamurti: That's right, that's what I said. I am answering that question. Am I looking at this fact that I have lied, completely, silently, without the observer? Not with a superior observer or a series of observers, but am I looking at something without 'me' interfering with it?
Questioner: Sir, it seems that while one is lying one is aware of it and then something says: it's not really so bad. Then the lie comes out and a justification accompanies it.
Krishnamurti: Yes. When one lies one knows it, and one justifies it. And I am asking, can you look at this contradiction, this lie, this whatever it is, without justification, without condemning it just look.
If I am unhealthy there is pain; can I look at that pain without reacting to it? Just look at the pain, not say, 'How am I going to get rid of it? Is it possible or is it not? What am I to do?' and so on that will all come later. But can I merely look at it without all the circus round it? Can I look at my pain in complete silence?
Questioner: Sir, there is always desire to be free from the pain.
Krishnamurti: That is understood, these are obvious facts but I am asking something impossible. If you can go beyond the impossible as we were saying the other day then you will know what to do with the possible. Can I look at anything without the image? Apparently that seems to be something outrageous, or mysterious, or impossible. Look Sir, a scientist in his laboratory looks from a very objective, non-sentimental viewpoint; he looks at something. That is not what we are talking about. That is fairly easy, because it doesn't matter to him; but touch him in his core about his ambition, or his love, or his this or that, then he can't look. Are you getting it?
Questioner: Sir, the very word 'lie' contains the condemnation already.
Krishnamurti: No, the very word lie is a condemnation.
Questioner: It seems so to me, I don't know.
Krishnamurti: No, it need not be a condemnation. Suppose I have just told a lie. I want to hide something which I don't want you to know. I don't condemn it, I say, 'Yes, I have lied', though the word implies condemnation and so on, I don't associate it with condemnation, I say, 'Yes, I have lied'. 'My skin is black' full stop. I don't say, 'I wish it were whiter or pinker or blacker'.
Questioner: I can't remember my lies.
Krishnamurti: But you see that is not the point; I took lying as an example, to represent this contradictory life.
Questioner: But I don't feel any contradiction in myself at all.
Krishnamurti: Very good, then it is finished. Then the whole circus is over, then you are a happy man, or woman!
Questioner: But it needn't be so.
Krishnamurti: Ah! You may be that's for you to find out!
Sirs, may I ask a question? Because we don't seem to be getting much further. Have you looked at anything out of silence? You are looking at this speaker; can you look at him without any image, just look, not abstractly, dreamily, sentimentally, but only look; to look means attention, care, affection and therefore to look means silence. Apparently most of us have not done this at all in our life. If you are not silent how can you commune with this contradiction? I can look at this contradiction in my life and say 'How terrible, I must get over it, I must find some way of unifying all this mess, all this fragmentation'. That is, I am looking at this fragmentation with a lot of chatter, with a lot of saying, 'This must be', 'This must not be', 'This I shall keep', and so on. Can I look without a word? Word being thought, thought being the form, the content. Can I look without this content, this word, the 'me'? Please, it is very important to understand this before we proceed any further, because we can communicate verbally, explain in detail over and over again, point out intellectually, but that doesn't solve any problem, that doesn't solve my contradiction or your contradiction. So can we step out of that habit, that tradition, and say, 'Can I look at this whole existence as a human being, just look at it, out of complete silence?'
Questioner: How can we do it?
Krishnamurti: How can I look at this problem silently how? Which means: tell me the method, tell me a way, show a process right? Step by step. Isn't that what is implied when you say 'how'? First of all, is there a 'how'? We have accepted that there is a 'how', that there is a way, that there is a method, and you say, 'Please tell me'. That is the habitual, traditional way of saying, 'Tell me what to do step by step, and I'll follow you and do it'. And I say there is no 'how', there is no method, there is no system, because practising the method, the system, will not give you silence right? You make your mind more solid, heavier, more habitual in a different direction, therefore it is not silent. So what will you do with this problem? There is no 'how'. You must see that.
Questioner: It happens occasionally.
Krishnamurti: Does it ever happen at all to look at something silently, to be in communion with the thing you are looking at? Can I look at my wife or husband silently, without the image which I have built about her, or about him? You get rather nervous when I put that question, don't you?
Questioner: But I know that I can do it!
Krishnamurti: I said, have you ever done it? Have you ever looked at another without an image not at a stranger, not at somebody who passes by, but at your wife, husband, friend, your boss, the specialist so that you are in communion with that person, who is also chattering, and has got lots of images? Am I asking the impossible? Be simple about it, Sir. I am, am I not?
Questioner: It is not possible.
Krishnamurti: It is suggested it is impossible.
Questioner: (In Italian) You have asked us to do the impossible. We don't know how to do this. For me it is impossible.
Krishnamurti: How can I communicate, commune with myself? That is, 'myself' is this contradiction, and the entity who looks at the contradiction is part of that contradiction right? So when the entity that is looking at this contradiction is himself part of that contradiction, there is no way out. But can there be an observation without this entity which is part of the fragment? Can you look at something (I am sorry to repeat this everlastingly) just to look, without all the circus about it? If you cannot look without the observer, there can be no communion with the thing observed. If I have an image about my wife and she has an image about me, the communication is between these two images; which is between two images that have been built up through time, through many days, and therefore there is always a contradiction between these two obviously. So there is always a misunderstanding; she lives in one world and I live in another world and we say 'I love you'. But to commune with her means I must look at her without any image, and I may not want to that's a different point. I may not want to commune with her, she may be a bore, or I might be a bore to her; so I have this facade. But if I want to commune with these many fragments which are me I must look at the 'me' with all its fragments quietly, silently, without any reaction to it. Is this repetition getting rather boring?
Krishnamurti: I wonder? You are too easy.
Questioner. What if what you see is a bore?
Krishnamurti: All right, don't look at it. ( Laughter) If my wife is a bore and I have carefully avoided looking at that bore because I have created an image about her which is lovely, I say, 'All right, keep it'. You are playing a double game, this is a contradiction. If you like that, keep it!
Questioner: Are we not full of contradictions because we are placed in contradictory circumstances?
Krishnamurti: Yes, that is what we said.
Questioner: Sometimes I see my husband as he is, without the image. But if I try to make myself look at my husband without the image, that is not possible.
Krishnamurti: Don't take the poor husband, or the poor wife; we are looking at something else, much nearer, which is in your own mind and your own heart.
Questioner: If a problem is created by thought, if you look at it in silence without thought, then there is no thought and therefore no problem.
Krishnamurti: The answer is in itself. Look Sir, why we are insisting on this question. We said verbal communication can be made very clear to show exactly what we mean, by-using and defining and explaining the word, and we both agree about that word. Then it becomes fairly easy to communicate with one another. But we have got a different problem, which is: I realize my way of living is contradictory, double, divided, and I know I have lived that way, with all the pain and misery of it, and I say to myself: what am I to do? How am I to get out of it? And you tell me, don't look at it as the observer watching this contradiction, because the observer himself is part of that contradiction. So there is a different way of approaching the problem. That is, look at it if you can silently, like two very intimate friends; they can be very quiet, they have their own problems and in their quietness, in their silence, some other activity takes place which may solve this problem.
Questioner: What do you mean by silence?
Krishnamurti: Don t you know what it means without my telling you what I mean by silence? Questioner: Full attention.
Krishnamurti: Don't put it into words yet. In this valley, when you wake up in the middle of the night don't you know what silence is? Except for the noise of the stream there is silence, but that noise is within the silence of this whole valley haven't you felt it?
Questioner: This is a physical silence.
Krishnamurti: You know what physical silence is. You don't say: 'What is your silence, what do you mean by physically silent, tell me about it?' You know it right? You walk in the woods and everything in the evening is very still; you know the physical silence with all the beauty in it, the richness, the quietness, the immeasurable magnificence, the dignity of it you know it. And apparently you don't know what psychological, inward silence is. So you say, 'Please tell me about it, put it into words'. Why should I? Why don't you find out for yourself if there is such a silence? I may be telling a lie, it may not exist, but you accept it. But if you say: I want to find out not what silence is but how to look at this contradiction and the structure of it, because I have always looked with an observer, with the examiner, with the analyser, and I suddenly realize that the analyser himself is the analysed. So I say, 'that is something which I have discovered', therefore I won't look that way any more; I am looking for another way of doing it. There is a way which is to look completely quietly.
Can I look at my pain, the toothache, without rushing immediately to the doctor, or taking a pill, going through all that excitement and fear can I look at that pain quietly, silently? Not say, 'It's my pain, what am I to do?' Haven't you ever done all this? No?
Questioner: There is just the pain.
Krishnamurti: I don't know what there is. You mean to say, Sirs, that you have never looked at a flower silently? How sad that is! That you never look at anything out of a full heart.
Questioner: What happens?
Krishnamurti: I don't know what happens, Sir. You see you are always theorizing. You always give it a clenched fist, don't you?
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 2nd Public Dialogue 1st August 1968
Yesterday we were saying how important it is to communicate with each other, not only here but throughout life, to know what proper communication means; because there is so much misunderstanding we live in misunderstanding and communication could probably clear up a great deal of this. We said we communicate through words, through gesture; the word with its content, with its frame or form or design, must naturally awaken in each one of us a series of associations, and that becomes a blockage, a hindrance. If each one of us has a series of associations, a content for every word, and each person carries all that along with him whether he is a communist, or a socialist or whatever he may be then all communication becomes impossible. I think we should be very clear about this. When that is obvious and there is no distortion in this communication, when both of us understand exactly what we mean not twisted to mean something you or I like or dislike then we shall proceed to another form of communication, which is what we call communion. To commune requires a state of mind which is highly sensitive and therefore extremely alert and intelligent, awake, and capable of an intensity that is immediate, so that there is between you and the speaker an intensity of communion, at the same time, at the same level. And this communion is only possible when the mind is very still, very quiet; when the mind with its brain cells doesn't respond immediately but when there is a hesitation, an interval, before response takes place. Since we have evolved from the primates, from the higher forms of apes, the brains of most of us have grown according to certain forms of conditioning: aggression, fear, violence, brutality, thinking about the self, the family, the community, the whole activity centred round itself. That is the old brain. When there is an immediate response it is the response of that conditioned brain. And when there is that quick, immediate response according to the race, community, society, or culture in which that particular brain has lived, then communion, an immediate comprehension, doesn't take place. So one has to know for oneself the organic, physical and psychological responses, the whole structure in which we live, which is our life; that is, to know oneself.
I know this has been said in Greece and before that in India, but apparently it is one of the most difficult things to do, to know ourselves as we are. Unless there is this fundamental knowing of oneself the causes of certain actions, behaviour, thought then any purposive action becomes merely ideological. Whatever the goal, the purpose be which may be invented by the specialist or by oneself it becomes a contradiction to 'what is'. What we were discussing yesterday was how to look at ourselves, not with the accustomed brain, not with the habitual responses of the brain that has been heavily conditioned, that comes from the animal, from the apes. We asked, is it possible to look at ourselves without that response. That is, look at ourselves without the thinker, the observer who is the old, the entity that has evolved through time, through environmental influences, accumulation and so on. Can I look at myself with a mind that is not disturbed by the past? Though the past is there and must exist and has its value, can I look at myself without the past responses, so that I am learning about myself all the time?
That is, if I remember rightly, what we were talking about yesterday. Shall we go on with that?
You understand the issue? First have we looked at ourselves, have we done so at all? Most of us have not, because we are very proud, proud of achievement, capacity, opinion. Please do follow this, observe it in yourself. We are proud of our experiences, knowledge, we think we are some extraordinary entity, divine or ideological and so on. That is not a fact but merely an invention, but we cling to it. And there is the sense of pride not to give up an opinion if we have formulated one, not to give up our accumulated knowledge, experience, tradition. We take pride in that, and so pride prevents us from observing ourselves. That's clear, isn't it? Humility is only possible for a mind that is really capable of looking at itself. That humility is not the opposite of pride. Can I give up pride in my family, my nation, my opinions, my judgment, in the things I have accumulated as knowledge? By dropping pride I can look at myself with great humility. Right? Can we do that? Can we discuss, talk this over together now, before we go further?
Questioner: I feel Sir, that we cannot totally give up our images and motives. We can lessen them or see them, but I fear that we cannot give them up completely.
Krishnamurti: You are saying we must keep a few images, we cannot drop all our images. It is said we cannot drop those images in which we take pride, which give us pleasure, and look at ourselves without the image of opinion, judgment and so on.
Surely, if I want to look at something clearly, want to understand it, see what is actually going on in myself, then do I have to have any image? From observation I can go further, but not if I come to it with a conclusion. (I don't know if you're following.) After observing myself I'm capable of doing that; I can then proceed. But if I come to it with an image, with an opinion, with a conclusion, with pride obviously it is going to block me. Please see the reason of it! Not your opinion or my opinion. I can proceed if I can look at myself without any image and see the causes of my activity: why I think this way why I behave that way, why I'm aggressive. But if I look at myself saying, 'I must not be aggressive', that is an ideological escape, which has no value at all.
See how very important this is, because most of us take pride in free will: 'I am free to choose'. Perhaps you are free to choose this colour or that colour the colour of the hat you are going to wear choose ( I mustn't use the word 'choose') your husband! But is there such a thing as free will? Will being desire to do or not to do to choose or not to choose. And is there a law in which there is no choice of will at all? I don't know if you're following this? If there is complete harmony within oneself (this is one of the most difficult things, don't think you are perfectly harmonious, you are not, we are broken up fragments) but if one has this complete harmony, awareness in oneself, then probably one is in harmony with the universal law then it is not a question of obeying or following, then there is only that. Sorry, I may have gone a little too far. We cannot go into that unless we can really look at ourselves anew, afresh, so that we see what we are.
It's pride that prevents me from looking at myself and it is pride that is inventing the ideology which says 'I should be'. I don't like what I am and my pride says, 'I must be that'. This is the ideological philosophy which man has invented, the formula, the 'should be'. Pride creates this conflict between what is and what should be, and pride says: I must be that, this is ugly, this is stupid, this is unintelligent, this is unreasonable. So I put on a mask of what I should be, and hence there is a conflict, a kind of hypocritical activity going on. Is it possible to look at oneself without the image of pride? I'm only putting in other words what we were talking about yesterday. But one has such extraordinary images of oneself haven't you? No? I am a great writer, I am this, I am that, I am a Jew, a Christian, a Catholic, a Communist, all the images that one has built about oneself. Why? Is it pride? Or, have we invested in these images values other than the actual state of one's own being?
One is aggressive and for various reasons one is ashamed of that and one has the ideology of non-aggression. This ideology is invented by one's pride, by one's desire to be other than 'what is', and by giving great value to 'what should be'. Please, see what we are doing; we put on so many masks, depending on whom we meet, with whom we talk, the game we play with ourselves. Can one look at oneself without the images that man has created through fear and pride and therefore see without any image, and hence with great silence, in which there is humility to observe?
Questioner: Isn't pride caused by fear?
Krishnamurti: Why is one afraid to look at oneself? Why are you afraid to see what you are? Is it fear that has invented pride? Or is it that you dislike what you see and therefore you say, 'I must be better', 'I must be different'. If I'm not afraid of what I see, I won't run away from it, and why should I be afraid of it? I am only afraid of it if I think I should be something else. Right? And that is part of our conditioning, our ideological philosophy that has cultivated this sense of 'what should be', the ideal. If I see that, then I must face 'what is'. If I can, and if there is no fear of wanting to change it and not being able to change it, then I can look at whatever there is in me the aggression, the brutality, the violence, the cheating, the doubletalk everything that is in me I can look at it; then I can find out what the causes are that have brought this about. Surely that's fairly simple, isn't it? This is very logical, sane; but we don't do it.
Questioner: We have talked a great deal here, and in different parts of the world, about self-knowledge. We want to go into it, and perhaps some of us have gone into it, but what prevents us from going into it much more deeply, and therefore acting differently, is that we may hurt others. We want to change, not out of pride, but to avoid damaging others.
Krishnamurti: Ah, that's very simple. We want to change because aggression hurts others. That's all. It isn't that we want to change because we are proud, but we see that aggression might hurt others, therefore we want to change. Sir, we are not talking about change. We are saying, why is it that we cannot look at ourselves. That's the first thing; we'll come to the problem of change afterwards.
Questioner: Does a child create an image of what he should be, because he fears not to be loved as he is?
Krishnamurti: Yes, that may be one of the reasons. But you are not meeting my point. Why is it that you and I cannot face ourselves as we are? Just face it, just look at it. If I cannot look at myself as I am, there is no possibility of change at all. Because by looking at myself as I am, I can find out the causes which have brought about the aggression, the brutality, the violence all that! Unless I discover the cause of all this - subjectively, inwardly it's not possible to change. Change will be merely between 'what is' and 'what should be', and this causes conflict and therefore a change to another form of aggression.
Questioner: Is it not because I identify myself with my brain?
Krishnamurti: You think you are your brain. Of course! What you think, that you are. This elaborate process of identification you are that. But please, do come to this essential point first. Is it pride that is preventing us from looking at ourselves? Is it fear?
Questioner: Vision has been granted to very few people, but when we have reached it then we don't have to look at ourselves any more, then we are part of the laws and harmony of the Universe.
Krishnamurti: The questioner says, must we examine all this, be aware, see ourselves as we are; can't we if I may put it quickly jump into another state?
You see, that is one of the most dangerous things; that can lead to such illusion. If you will go with the speaker a little we'll go into something which you yourself can understand and have it, live it. But you see, we refuse to begin at the lowest, the most essential level which is not really low. Probably we are afraid that if we have no ideals or purposes, we shall deteriorate.
Questioner: How can one express truth?
Krishnamurti: Madame, we are not talking about truth. We will come to that. I can only find out what truth is when there is no illusion, and illusion must exist as long as there is any kind of conflict.
What is preventing us from looking at ourselves so that we shall know all our ways, our peculiarities? Not to judge, jump to conclusions about others, not impute motives to others. It seems to me such common sense to begin with 'what is'.
Questioner: If we start to really observe ourselves, what we see is so ugly that it's natural not to want to look.
Krishnamurti: Why do you call what you see 'ugly'? It may be that one is very sexual. Why do you call it ugly? Because you have the ideological approach, values, judgments according to some idea. If I am aggressive, why do I call it 'ugly: I am aggressive. If one knows one hates people, why call it ugly? One is caught in words listen to this please one is caught in words with all their content and prejudice; so these words prevent us from looking at ourselves. I see we are coming to an impasse.
Questioner: I cannot look at myself, there is always the observer.
Krishnamurti: Wait! In the very looking at myself there is the observer. The observer, as we said, is the word is the content of that word. Please follow this. That word, with all its associations has created a design, memories, knowledge, tradition which is me, the ego. The ego, the me, is a set of words. And those words are the content of the observer, the memories and so on, and with this content we look. I say that's impossible. So, can you look without the observer? And you do! You do look without the observer when there is a tremendous crisis. Hasn't it happened to you? When there is a great shock, then the very shock, the very crisis makes you silent. Then the observer with all the traditions, words, concepts, becomes utterly speechless he is paralysed. And when you come out of that shock you begin to go through your old process again. See what has happened, follow this! There is this observer functioning all the time the me, my family, my nation, my country, my belief, my opinion, me that is active all the time, and when you experience a crisis, when a tremendous shock takes place, that observer naturally becomes silent, because it's too big, it's too immense for him to tackle. That may last a minute, or a day, or perhaps a year, that is, physically you get paralysed. But when you come out of the crisis the whole process begins again. What has happened? The intensity of the shock has driven out the observer and when that shock wears off the observer comes back. That is a simple phenomenon. Can the same thing take place without shock, without a crisis? So that there is only looking, without any observer. To look without the observer is silence. Just to look, silently.
May I go on a little more, if one has followed it so far? You know, the mind is always chattering. (Sound of horses hooves passing by). I hear that horse going by, I listen to the rhythm of those hooves on the hard road. I like it or I don't like it. I'm aware of the whole movement of that horse and I'm chattering, chattering either chattering inwardly, or outwardly always talking, indulging in gossip, telling about somebody else: ''my opinion is this'', ''why should he do that'' chatter, chatter. And this chattering obviously indicates a form of laziness; because you have nothing to do, you talk about somebody else; or you want to express yourself, show how clever you are. So the mind is never quiet. Is that a fact or not? Right? If it is a fact, can you look at it? Just look at it, that your mind is chattering; don't say, 'Who is the looker?' Know the fact that you spend hours talking, writing letters, giving your opinions, what is right, what is wrong, Kennedy should have done this, Johnson should have done that, or De Gaulle is going to have a very thin time in October and so on and on.
Can one be aware of that not in a complicated way but just watch it? Now, if you watch it, that's a fact isn't it? Remember the fact, don't say, I mustn't chatter, it's wrong or it's right just remain with that fact, that you chatter. You understand? Watch it, watch it. To remain with it means to watch it without any interference of other thoughts coming in. I am very interested to see why I chatter, by myself or with somebody, offering my opinion about this or that. I say: why? I'm interested to find out. How do I find out the cause of this chatter? Please follow this step by step. It's very interesting if you do.
I want to find out why I chatter. Shall I analyse it step by step and find out the ultimate cause of why I chatter? Or is there a quicker way, so that I see it immediately? Is this clear? One way is analysis, to find out the cause; that takes time, there may be a misjudgement; unless I analyse very, very carefully I might be misled. And so I say, is there a different way of doing this, which is to find the cause and be beyond the cause? You get it? All right, let's keep to that. I chatter. I am not going to say I must not chatter, that's too absurd, that is an ideological approach. It's obvious I don't say that. But I say, I want to find out why I chatter. By finding out the cause of chattering I might be able to stop it; because what's the point of this endless chattering about nothing? So, can I find out the cause by analysing? I can. Which is: I may be lazy, therefore my mind wants to wander. Right? And therefore the wandering is the chatter. That's one cause: I chatter because my mind says, I must be occupied with something all the time. It feels it must be occupied with books, with knowledge, with saying 'why did so and so do this', 'this should be done better', 'he is this, he is that', 'she is nice', 'she is not nice', 'she is very pleasant, I like to kiss her'. Back and forth, because I'm afraid not to be occupied.
Questioner: Does the occupation of the mind depend upon use of words or language?
Krishnamurti: It may not Sir, I may not use any word at all, and yet I might be occupied. Are you following all this? I might be occupied without a word to find out what silence is, or what love is, or what form of government one should have. Or I may be occupied in observing my wife. Just watch it. The mind says, 'I must be occupied, therefore I chatter'. Follow this. It may be one of the causes. One of the causes is, I may be lazy; another is I must be occupied. And if I'm not occupied what shall I do? Right? I'm frightened. You understand? The businessman who has gone to the office everyday for forty years suddenly stops doing it; it's going to upset his whole organism. So maybe I'm frightened not to be occupied, I'm frightened of being alone. Or, I'm frightened that if I don't chatter I will find out what I am. I can go on multiplying the causes. Now, I know some of the causes, but that doesn't stop me from chattering. Right?
I wonder if you've got all this? So the examination and the discovery, or rather, the exploration and the discovery of the cause, or causes, of this chattering doesn't stop the chattering because that is an intellectual process; so it is a frag- mentary process. The fragment is looking at another fragment and is discovering the cause of a certain fragmentary issue. Right? Mere analysis is not going to solve it. What will stop it if you want to stop it is quite a different approach. It must be. That is, I am aware that I am chattering. What is the quality of this awareness? You understand what I mean? What is the nature, the structure of this awareness when I say with words or without words 'I am aware that I am chattering'? In that awareness there is no condemnation, there is no sense of 'I must not chatter', nor giving reasons for chattering. I wonder if you're following. In this quality of awareness there is no judgment value at all. The moment I'm aware in that way, all values, judgments come to an end, don't they? So there is a looking out of quietness at chattering and therefore it undergoes a complete change. I will talk when necessary, I will not talk when it's not necessary; which means I don't go about with my opinions, judgments, evaluations. I don't say what some politician should do, or what he should not do, or that my neighbour, or the man sitting on the platform, should do this, or should do that. All that is too immature. By giving attention to chattering, it has become something entirely different.
Will you chatter tomorrow? After you leave this tent, will you chatter? Of course you're going to! Look what happens. You hear a truth, you hear something that is real and you go out and do quite the opposite. So there is conflict in you. Right? So you say, 'this is too serious', and never come back. Or you say, 'why am I doing this?' I hear this, which is so rational, sane, and yet I go on irrationally why? Maybe because it has become a habit and the older you get the stronger that habit becomes. I've lived one way, one kind of life and I'm going to live that kind of life De Gaulle, or no De Gaulle! I have chattered all my life and suddenly I see the absurdity of it; and not to chatter is going to shatter me you understand?
So to come back to the beginning, can I look at myself? That self being the entity who is endlessly chattering, evaluating, offering opinions, looking, searching, endlessly. Can I look at myself without a word, without an image, without pride? ( Pause).
That's all. You know, as you sat very quietly just a few seconds ago, there was that peculiar quality of silence, not induced, not a state into which you are hypnotized; you were really looking with great attention, quietness right? You have got the key!
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 3rd Public Dialogue 2nd August 1968
Krishnamurti: Shall we go on with what we were talking over together yesterday, or would you like to start something else?
I think we have lost the quality of a high level of curiosity. Man has been very curious, wanting to find out about the phenomenal world, the world which is outside him, and he has been extraordinarily successful, going to the moon, doing astonishing things. But inwardly, though we have evolved from the ape, we have not advanced much. There is a vast contradiction in our life between the outer and the inner; outwardly an enormous advance, and almost no advance at all inwardly.
Is there such a division as the outer and the inner? Is there an activity ever advancing, ever progressing, ever evolving outwardly, whilst inwardly, except for very modified small changes, there is hardly any movement? Why is there this division between the outer and the inner? Outwardly we live a very full life and inwardly we are poverty-stricken, very shallow, petty minded, self-centred, unaware of our own activities. So one asks oneself, what is an inward life? (I don't know if you are interested in this, we are coming to the point where we left off yesterday). What if I may use a word which is so hackneyed and so spoilt what is a spiritual life? What is a life which contains both the outer and the inner? What is a life that is not merely circumscribed by outer pressures and events, economic, social and so on? Is there a life apart from these outward demands and the environment? Does the environment dictate the inward state of the mind, or does the inner confusion, shallowness, misery, despair and arrogance, dictate the outer structure and nature of society?
We have asked this question of ourselves many times. Can we spend some time this morning to find out if there is really a limit to human understanding, to see for ourselves where that limit ends or begins? I don't know if you are interested in this? Can we go into this question: what is a life which is not divided into the outer and the inner? We know this division, and the so-called spiritual people, the theologians, say there are greater values, greater heights to be achieved inwardly. The monks, the saints and all that group, reject the outer because they say that is worldly, the real life lies deep within oneself. Though man has made such a division, is it valid? Or is it artificial to think the inner values are much more important, quite separate, and that the outer is of very little significance?
If you are interested in it and don't want to discuss something else, can we ask ourselves: what is a life that is not divided into an outer and an inner, a life that is not related by these two words, outer and inner? Can we find out what inner truth is, an inner life which includes the outer? Is that a valid question?
Questioner: I think that the inner has no sense unless it is related to the outer.
Krishnamurti: Sir, when you make a statement like that, it has no reality, you have already come to a conclusion. We are saying, to explore you need a high level of curiosity. Man has been very curious to find out about the external world; outwardly he has conquered almost everything. But he has not been as eager, as intensely curious, to find the inward world if there is such a thing. If one has this quality of high curiosity it must be applicable both outwardly and inwardly. One can't only examine the outward phenomena! So can we, this morning, have this quality of curiosity at a high level?
Not just be curious about how others live, about what people say or don't say. I don't mean that kind of childish curiosity, but a quality of curiosity that explores inwardly.
First of all, why is it that most of us have neglected to explore the world of the mind, of the spirit, of the deep inward unknown? We have said man's understanding is limited; what is beyond that limitation is mysterious, is God, is something which we can't explore, which is a mystery. That has been the pet jargon of the religious people. They have drawn a line, beyond which lies mystery. But a mind that is curious knows the limitation of human understanding and does not know where that limit is right? So can we start with that high level of curiosity and explore this world which we have divided into the inner and the outer? We know more or less what is taking place in the outer world there are a few selective, specialized brains that have made an examination of the outer and how to conquer it. But those who have explored the inner, have approached it always with a mind that has already formed a conclusion; they have started with an a priori belief, with an ideology, and they have never explored. They said 'There is God' or, as the Hindus said, 'There is the Atman' and that's the end of it. Man drew a line beyond which he said you can't go, or only a few can reach the few who are recognised by society as the saints. And because society recognizes them as saints, obviously they are not saints, they fit into the pattern of what society thinks saints should be, they conform to that pattern, so they are accepted as saints.
So if we could do it together, it would be very interesting this morning to try to be intensely curious; not starting with any conclusion, with any belief, dogma, hope with nothing, just be curious! If you have a motive you cease to be curious, and that curiosity becomes shallow, empty, superficial. So can we explore together this world which man has never really gone into? Except very superficially by the behaviourists, the psychologists. They have described, or explained, how one has inherited aggression from the animal and so on, but they have never explored to find out inwardly, where there is no limitation.
First of all, what do we mean by being curious? What do you think?
Questioner: Curiosity implies a mind that is highly sensitive.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? Highly sensitive, pliable, sharp, not hindered by whatever it discovers. It doesn't say, 'I don't like this, I am frightened, I won't go beyond it'. Curiosity in that sense can only be when there is freedom to enquire not hindered by 'I mustn't'. You see, I really want to know with great curiosity, I want to find out. Don't say, 'Who is the I?' leave that for the moment, I am using the 'I' merely to explain. After having understood and gone beyond the aggressive nature of the human animal, the anger, the brutality, the despair, the desire for power, position, prestige those are so very obvious and putting them aside, not verbally but actually, the mind says, 'What more?' Can we start from there? Yes? Are you sure you are not caught in opinions of like and dislike? Because to be highly curious (in the sense we are using that word), there must be great balance, otherwise curiosity becomes another instrument of distortion I don't know if you are following this? It is like being curious about my neighbour: I am peeping over the wall, but there is always the wall over which I am looking.
It is really quite worthwhile asking: is it possible to observe without any distortion? To observe with effort is a distortion process. If I say to myself, 'I must be curious, I must observe, I have already given a shape to that curiosity, to that movement of exploration; my motive is something quite different, because I want to get something, I want to use it, I want to improve society, I want to get happiness out of it, or whatever it is. Can I observe without any distortion? And there is a distortion if I am ambitious, or if I am sexual, or if I am driven by pleasure, or if there is any form of fear. All these, obviously, distort the perceptive quality. So unless the mind is free of all this, exploration becomes merely another form of scratching the surface of something you think is the reason. That's why we ought to be very clear in ourselves, whether the curiosity of exploration is born out of freedom, or out of some compulsion, some inward void, fear, anxiety and is therefore an escape. When you have this quality of very intense, high level curiosity, it pushes aside all the other elements, like ambition, greed, envy. I don't know if you are following this? Are we communicating with each other? I am not talking of a different dimension. Am I, the speaker, making myself clear at least verbally that in this exploration there must be no distorting element? And there will be a distortion as long as there is an effort to explore, that effort being a motive, an escape, fear, a desire to use what you discover for yourself and society in order to gain God, or whatever motive you have.
Now what do you say?
Questioner: Is not curiosity a motive?
Krishnamurti: Is it? I want to know, just for the fun of it, just to see what there is there is no motive! I want to know what more there is, when there is freedom from all the things I have known. That's all. In that there is no motive.
Questioner: It is ambition.
Krishnamurti: Is there ambition in that in the sense of wanting to succeed in my discovery, of wanting to achieve, wanting to gain an end?
Questioner: No. I want to learn.
Krishnamurti: Wait a minute. Is learning ambition?
Questioner: Learning is pleasure, isn't it?
Krishnamurti: Have you learnt a language? You know what a painful business it is! I don't quite see why you bring in ambition and pleasure. I said at the beginning, if there is any form of distortion, exploration has no meaning. I said too, ambition is a distortion because then I want to succeed, I want to learn, I want to be more powerful, I want to gain, I want to use what I have gained, what I have experienced, to exploit others, to tell others what a marvellous entity I am all that excludes what we are talking about. Haven't you the sense of delighted curiosity in something? Or is it always accompanied by ambition, pain, anxiety?
Questioner: Is it not a matter of just to see and to feel?
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. Look: I am angry, and I say to myself, why am I angry? About what? I know I am angry, I don't escape from that, it is a fact; I want to know why I am angry. I don't want to escape from it, I don't merely want to verbalize it, rationalize it, I want to know what the cause of the anger is, the approach to find out. And I see I haven't slept properly I don't have to explain what the causes of anger are. But if you say, 'I must not be angry', and with that motive examine the cause of anger, you may discover the cause, but it will not bring about an end to anger. Is this so very difficult? What we are saying is: to explore, you need a scientific mind, a mind that is not personally involved. Like the scientist in the laboratory, when he is examining he is not personally involved, but take him outside and he becomes an American, a Russian, or whatever it is, with his own fears, for the family and so on. Can we have a scientific mind which has understood anger, fear, ambition, pleasure, and says, 'I know all that, I see the limitation of it, see the dangers of it and I am not going to let it interfere,
I am going to watch the motive very carefully, I am going to be intensely aware whether any pleasure enters'.
Questioner: Doesn't it depend on memory?
Krishnamurti: No Sir. I see you have never done it. I am sorry.
Questioner: A scientific mind is not only capable of observing but it needs a hypothesis.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. but can't one talk simply? Let's forget the scientific mind. If you don't like it, let's drop it.
Questioner: Sir, what you are trying to do is impossible! We are very limited and we have a short life the mind is unable to understand.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. Just look you say we are very limited and it is impossible. Then it is finished! There is nothing more to explore.
Questioner: I understand that. But it is impossible to seek and not to distort.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir, I understand your question. It is impossible not to distort but is it? If it is impossible, then is it not possible to go beyond the impossible? Don't always say, 'it is impossible, I cannot help distorting, I am limited, I am this, it is so'. But I say: go beyond the impossible, see what happens!
Questioner: How can one go beyond the impossible if one is limited?
Krishnamurti: Do look, please. How can you go beyond the impossible? which means you know what the possibility is do you? Why do you say 'impossible'? When you say the mind is limited, of course it is limited. When you draw the line and say 'It can't go beyond that', you draw the line of the impossible. Don't draw that line, don't say it is impossible.
Questioner: There are things we shall never understand, our minds are finite.
Krishnamurti: 'Man can go only so far'. But he doesn't say that when he wants to go to the moon! Man said, 'I will find out how to reach the moon and go beyond' and he has done it. He never said 'It is impossible, I can't do it'. But you see what we are doing? Outwardly we are willing, but inwardly we say 'No, sorry'. So I say, why do you make the inward approach, the inward enquiry impossible? knowing our minds are limited, but being aware that we don't know where the limitation ends. Don't draw the line of limitation just within a very short distance you understand, Sir?
Questioner: Aren't there different kinds of possibilities and impossibilities?
Questioner: It is impossible to speak when the thunder is going on.
Krishnamurti: Of course. You see now watch it. Communication between us is becoming impossible. You reduce possibility and impossibility into terms of noise. I say, don't say it is impossible that's all. I know it is impossible to be heard when there is thunder going on, therefore I stop, I don't battle with it.
It won't last very long, now shall we try something? Let's keep quiet. Let's really keep quiet see what happens. [Long silence of several minutes. Sound of rain and thunder.]
When you are really silent like this, which means, very sensitive, don't you feel all the rain dropping into you, entering you? you were completely open, weren't you? And you received everything the rain, the noise, the thunder, the beauty of that sound, you were part of it weren't you? And if you hadn't done it you would say 'it is impossible'.
You know, to be silent means to be vulnerable, and that means to be completely, totally open without any resistance, with your heart and mind then you hear the rain with a delight.
Now, let's proceed. I wonder why we say that it is impossible for us to find out anything beyond the limitation, beyond the feeling we have that it is impossible. And yet we are eager to accept what others have said about what lies beyond the impossible right? A little guru comes along, or a saint, or somebody who has had a little experience, and says 'There is something beyond' and we all lap it up! Now why don't we find out for ourselves? Why do we accept others? Knowing the limitation of our mind, the limited understanding because our minds are rather shallow, empty, dull we repeat phrases, platitudes, and think we have understood everything. Knowing all that, is it possible to explore even that very limited mind, that limited understanding? dig under it, above it, so that you find out. But if I say 'My mind is very limited, my understanding is conditioned' that's the end of it. But to know the mind is conditioned, shaped, twisted, tortured, ugly, to be aware of it, to know the whole structure and the nature of it, what the causes of it are, surely that is to go beyond the limitation isn't it?
Questioner: Is not astonishment the beginning of curiosity?
Krishnamurti: Don't you know what it is to be curious? Why do you read newspapers, why are you listening to the speaker if you aren't curious? Not about 'how curiosity begins; one can go into it the squirrel has to be curious to find out where his safety is this can all be observed; but aren't you curious? Just curious!
Questioner: We see a tremendous necessity to go beyond the impossible now.
Krishnamurti: Sir, each one of you can give a dozen explanations, but at the end the fact remains that you are not curious. Or your curiosity has a slight twist in it, a bias, which makes it into a distorting instrument. Look! I want to find out if I have an image about myself the image which has been built up by the parents, by the environment in which I was born, by the circumstances, the influences, the pressures of various cultures and so on, and my own inclinations and tendencies all that put together has formed an image about myself. I am this right? 'I am a great man', 'I am an inferior man' whatever it is. I have got so many fears. I want to be ambitious and so on. I have an image about myself and I know how it has come into being. That is fairly simple: through fear, through the demands for security, through an idea, a philosophy that says 'Ideologies are so important not 'what is', but 'what should be' and so on. There it is: I have an image about myself and I say, 'That image is going to prevent me from looking and is going to distort anything I see' right? I shan't be able to hear what another is saying if I have an image. The image may be an opinion; I say, 'I have an opinion that you are this, or that, and when I look at you that opinion distorts'. So I say to myself, 'Is it possible to go beyond this image? I am just curious. What happens?' I don't want to succeed or achieve something, or gain something, or use what I gain to impress other people. I just want to find out what lies beyond this limited image I surround myself with. Don't you want to know?
Krishnamurti: You mean to say we are all as dead as that! I'll go on. I see this image, how it is formed, what are its causes (I have explained what the causes are) wanting security, and therefore fear, the influences of society which says you must be different from what you are, and so on. I see the causes of this image. And I want to know what lies beyond; so I must first break the image because the image is going to prevent me. There is no motive in that, because I see it. If I want to see beyond, I must go beyond the wall; so I must pull down the wall. And how do I pull down this image which has thickened throughout years? That is the first thing I have to do to look beyond the image. I must break it down. So I have got a very complex problem here: to see the causes of that image, the breaking down of the image, and in the very breaking of that image not to form another image right? Are we communicating with each other? I think we are, aren't we? Yes? At least with a few.
Now what am I to do? I know very well if I make an effort in the very breaking of that image, I shall distort the vision, the perception right? So there must be no effort. Effort implies motive, and the habit which has been cultivated through millions of years to make an effort to do something. This is the problem: can I leave it? look at it? And who is the entity that is going to leave it? The entity is the image-maker no? The observer is the machinery that is always making the images. I know all that; I see all this taking place in me. The observer who is what is observed, from one point of view, and becomes the observer; it is this machinery the 'me' is the machinery that is always resisting itself, and I know that. I also know the dangers of the images. I equally know, if there is any single image it will act as a distortion right? So I say to myself, 'What do I mean when I say: I know'? (I hope we are communicating.) When I say to myself, 'I know this whole structure, I am very familiar with it, I know the nature of it' when I say 'I know', what do I mean by that? The word 'know', when do I use those words I know'?
Questioner: It means that I remember.
Krishnamurti: One moment! You see, I ask a question: when do I say 'I know'? What do I mean by those words?
You are ready to answer so quickly! There is no silent listening to that word, to that question. Try to listen quietly to that question: what do we mean when we say 'I know'? I want to find out, I want to feel that word, I want to smell it, taste it, go into it, therefore I must be very sensitive to that word. I must be in contact with it, be familiar with all its meaning; and to be familiar, to be in contact with the feeling of that word, there must be a sensitive enquiry. But if I say, 'Yes, it is remembrance, it is something in the past, it is memory, it is a reaction' and so on we all know that. But find out (please listen) where the limitation of that word is right? The moment I use the word 'I know' I have limited it. I wonder if you are meeting this? Have you got it? It is like a man who says, 'I know what truth is'! 'I know my wife'. 'I know I have experienced something immense' then it is finished!
So when I use the word 'know', I have already limited it. The very word limits, therefore I am going to be very cautious you understand? I am going to be extraordinarily watchful of that word so that it doesn't block me. It is like saying, 'Man is nothing but...: the 'nothing but' means limitation. So when I use the words 'I know the nature and the structure of this image' (listen carefully please) when I say: 'I know it, I know the machinery of it, I know the causes of it,' what has happened?
Questioner: ( Several inaudible suggestions)
Krishnamurti: Do please listen, be quiet. Feel your way into it. When I say 'I know' the maker of the image, the nature of the image, the cause of the image what have I done? (Pause)
Right? Got it? When I say 'I know', the entity that says 'I know' is the image that is creating the image.
Questioner: So, 'I know' is non-existent.
Krishnamurti: That's right. When you say 'I know', know that you don't know. Right? Do see the importance of this. Listen quietly. When I say 'I know the cause' I have already blocked it, I have fixed it, I have limited it; but when I say, 'I really don't know that I know', then I am open right? When I say 'I know my wife' that's the end of it. It means really I don't want to know, I am too frightened to know what she is, therefore when I use the words 'I know', that finishes it, I don't have to look any further. But if I say, 'I really don't know that I know' (do you follow?) I am open, I am much more subtle, I am sensitive, I can look. So in using the word 'know' I am going to be extremely careful. Knowledge becomes a hindrance right? Not in the scientific world, but in the world of exploration within. So I will never say 'I know'. Therefore the mind is in a state of enquiry already. I wonder if you are meeting this? It is only the mind that is full of pride that says, 'I know'. (Pause)
So I don't know. I know, of course, the image, the measure of the image, the cause of it, I am well aware of it yes, it's there. And I want to find out if there is an end to the image-building. I won't say it is impossible or possible. When you say it is impossible, you have blocked it; or when you say, 'Oh, yes it is possible' then you are just theorizing. Now my mind is very alert, sensitive, it isn't going to accept quick answers it doesn't matter who is going to answer it hesitates, it looks. Therefore there is no authority. Right? I wonder whether we are communicating?
So I have discovered something. When exploring into myself, never to come to a conclusion, because the conclusion becomes the authority; never to say to myself, 'I know this is so', but to be open to find out. I have found out something: there is no such thing as the impossible. When the mind sees there is no such thing as the impossible, it is beyond the impossible right?
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 4th Public Dialogue 3rd August 1968
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner: Sir, we are all heavily conditioned, and the distance between the observer and observed makes us exaggerate the importance of thought. We can see how this conditioning affects the mind. How can we break through this?
Krishnamurti: Perhaps this question might be answered in a different way, or the same question be put differently. As we were saying the other day, technologically man has advanced extraordinarily, his advance is incalculable, and inwardly, psychologically, we are almost at a standstill. This world of technology and the psychological state in which man lives most of the time are almost contradictory. Man being what he is heavily conditioned, aggressive, wanting to express himself at any cost, dividing himself into nationalities, into political parties, religious divisions, and so on is willing to kill, destroy, by using those deadly weapons he has invented. It is very important, it seems to me, to find out whether man can go beyond his own limitations, and not use this appalling, destructive machinery. I do not know if you have thought about this, or, if you have, how you would grapple with this question.
Man is obviously heavily conditioned, limited, aggressive and so on, yet technologically there is great advancement. Is it possible for us to break this barrier, this psychological limitation? It seems to me that the whole question of will is involved in this. Our will, the will that we human beings use, has been developed through attraction and repulsion, through temptation and resistance, and that will has created its own law. And this law governs most of us psychologically. If you observe, you can watch it in yourself, how this attraction and repulsion, this like and dislike, this temptation and resistance, are what we are used to. And by that principle, the way of life is the way of will and resistance: 'I will do this and will not do that', 'I dislike so-and-so, I like this one'. So in us there is this quality of will, which we exercise to break down those things that we do not like and to resist temptation. This law, this will, has created the division between human beings: nationally, racially, religiously; and we rely on this will which has become our law to break down the human limitation.
One sees for oneself that the operation of will, as we know it, is very destructive. And is there any other form of law, a universal law, the law of the universe? (Please don't get sentimental about it! Don't nod your head and agree or disagree.) Perhaps the Western mind is not used to this. The ancient Hindus and some of the mystics (I have been told) sought this will, which is not the will of resistance. Can human beings find it, knowing what they are? It is not important how this aggression has come into being; we know all that, we don't have to go very far to find out why we are brutal, why we are aggressive, why we are angry, demanding our own importance and so on. One can observe it in the animals, in the higher forms of apes. As we said, we are used to this kind of will that must be in contradiction to every other form of will my will as opposed to your will, my will opposed to the community, the will of the nation, the religious person with his dogma, with his belief which he holds onto and resists every other form of belief and dogma. in that resistance there is aggression; he is willing to kill for what he calls 'God', 'peace'. And that will brings about great discord, great disharmony in all the relationships of man which is observable. Such a will cannot possibly break down man's limitation, but if there is no such will then how is man to act? (I do not know if I am making the issue clear?)
As human beings we have this will which has come into being through resistance, attraction and opposition, temptation, and it is operating all the time: 'I will, I must, I must not'. And this creates great disharmony, not only in oneself but in all relationships. If one understands the nature of this will and therefore the structure of it, is it possible to find a law which is not born of resistance and attraction and temptation? Am I making this clear? Would you like to discuss this? We are putting the same thing into different words as was asked in that question about how to break through our conditioning; the observer himself, who is the will, is conditioned. How can one get out of this vicious circle?
As one observes within oneself and I hope you are doing this, not merely listening to a lot of words one realizes this will can never be free, this will must always create antagonism, it must always divide, as 'mine' and 'yours'. Not that there is not 'my coat' and 'your coat', that is very simple. But this will must beget division and therefore war, not only war of destruction, but war within oneself. Right? And so, not being able to get out of this dilemma, we say: 'I'll wait for the grace of God, or for some miracle to take place, for some outer agency that will by chance open the window'. And obviously, when one waits upon an outside agency that brings great calamity, for then you must have the priest, the authority, the church. As this will cannot operate except within its own limitation and therefore it breeds more antagonism, more aggression, strife and all the rest of it, one begins to ask: Is there a law one can find, a universal law, which may solve all these problems? Am I making this clear? Don't please translate universal law as 'god', or as 'Super-Atman', or the 'Higher Soul' and all that. This is much too serious, much too important an issue to cover up with a lot of silly words.
You see, we are disharmony within ourselves, and the society which we human beings have created is a society of great disharmony, great conflict, great contradiction. This contradiction has created its own will, it has bred its own law, and if one pursues that to its ultimate end there is no answer, no way out. So one asks, if there is a universal law, how is the mind to come upon it?
You can see when you look at the stars of an evening, there is great order, great beauty, and that very beauty is its own law. There is no disorder, and that order is the very essence of beauty. But we live in disorder; the whole nature and structure of our society and of ourselves is the nature of disorder we do one thing with one hand and contradict it with the other. And this disorder is part of this will; so how can a human being, how can I and when I use the word 'I' I am not being personal or egotistical but I am asking as a human being: How can this disorder be transformed into that great order of beauty, that great harmony in which there is no contradiction, no struggle, no disarray and therefore into an existence in which there is no operation of the will which is not the law of the universe? (I don't know if you are following all this? Are you all becoming mystical, closing your eyes and going off into some phantasy? I hope not!)
Questioner: How can I have that energy which is not born of resistance and temptation, which is will?
Krishnamurti: I think that is a wrong question if you will forgive me. We have an abundance of energy. That energy we dissipate in temptation and resistance, in attraction and repulsion, in aggression and so on. We have got energy! Religious people, especially the monks and the sannyasis, say you can canalize this energy by living a non-worldly life if you don't marry, take a vow of chastity, poverty and obedience, obedience according to the system of hierarchies. Obviously such an abstraction from the world is just an idea and not an actual reality. You may shut yourself behind a wall in a monastery, but you are still a human being sexual, ambitious, imitative, fearful, greedy, jealous and all the rest of it which you can see in any monk or in any sannyasi (the Sanskrit word for a monk who has renounced the world).
We have enough energy, but, as we were saying, we dissipate it when we chatter endlessly, verbally and non-verbally. This is obvious, I don't have to go into the details of how we waste our energy. But I don't think that is really the question. Here is a problem of great and significant meaning, if we could go into it. The will has created this disorder in society which is ourselves and one can observe an order that exists beyond the limitations of man. How can this disorder end and enter into another order, an order of tremendous harmony, beauty, love, of something invaluable which has its own law. That is the question. One sees this and one says: I will do certain things, follow certain ideas, follow certain concepts, formulas and hope thereby to enter into the other dimension. So we say: ''Let me struggle, let me torture myself, let me have one supreme will so that I can resist everything''. Or, ''I will learn, concentrate, give total attention, so that by some trick of silence I will enter into the other dimension''. I don't think either of these work; they are like those systems which give you an insoluble problem and the mind which cannot solve it therefore becomes stunned, and in that state perhaps you see something. But that is a trick, a form of self-deception, so we'll discard all that. (I hope you are doing this as we go along).
So, as a human being I have a problem. The world I live in, both inwardly and outwardly, is in disorder, a world of great disharmony; this disharmony and disorder is created by every human being and therefore we have built a society which is also in disorder. When you look at the stars, at the trees which grow splendidly, at this vast nature with the sky above, the splendour of an evening, the movement of the stars, there is great order, a law which is the very essence of beauty. How is a mind, that is so caught in disorder, to enter into that order in which there is no disharmony at all? Is the question clear? Now you answer it!
Bearing in mind that every form of effort is a distortion, because it implies resistance and attraction to pursue that which is attractive and resist that which is not we see we are in disorder, and we see the order of a life in which there is no conflict, in which everything has its place, and we say: 'I see this, and how can this total order come into my existence, how can I live it'? Also I realize that every form of will, with its resistance and so on, has no place in it. The will, the disorder, is the observer, the entity, the 'me', the ego; he is the very essence of disorder so what am I to do? Man has tried every way, you understand? Worshipped Gods, waited upon God, followed a formula, become a sannyasi, a monk, taken various forms of vows; all of them entailed conflict and that conflict produced immense disorder. So I see all that, and I say to myself, there must be a way not a way but an approach which must be entirely different. Right?
How will you answer this question? This is your challenge, you understand? Otherwise, if you don't reply to it, if you don't answer it, man is going to destroy himself; the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, war, conflict within oneself and outwardly, the revolts, the endless economic wars, the division of people all that is going on. So you must answer this challenge. How will you do it? What will you do with it? (Long silence).
Questioner: Is it sufficient to be free of will?
Krishnamurti: How will you be free of will? Who is the entity who is going to free you from will? Please do not put it into such a small frame!
Questioner: But Sir, in nature there are also many conflicts between animals, cataclysms among the stars and in the galaxies, there is no such harmony as you suppose.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir, we know that; and there is harmony. You see, for you and me, looking at the galaxies, we call that 'disorder', but it may be order! Don't bother about it. You are not getting the essence of the question! Sir, have you known a day, or an hour, when everything went smoothly, when there was no friction, when there was immense delight, bliss in your heart! There was no 'I' and 'you', no conflict, not the black and the white, the man with the big car and the other man walking, the poor and the rich nothing. Have you had a day like that? Ah, no. Have you had a day when there was no space at all, no time? Don't you know all these things? Sir, let's put the problem differently. Oh, you are missing an awful lot.
Questioner: We can know this state for a few minutes, but we cannot keep it.
Krishnamurti: You can't keep it. If you keep it, it rots; when you want to keep it, it is greed; when it's yours, opposed to mine, then you will battle to possess, so we are back again in the same old circle. You can't keep it!
Questioner: Sir, it seems to me that if mankind does destroy itself, that this is also part of the law which you mentioned, is part of the beauty of the stars...
Krishnamurti: Yes, what were you going to say, Sir?
Questioner: I wish to say that I'm not interested in saving mankind. It seems to me that the direct solution is for a person to do what he wants to do, and to really know what he wants to do by letting his desires communicate, understand each other.
Krishnamurti: The questioner says that what he is concerned with is to live a life in which there are no opposing desires, but only one desire. Right?
Questioner: A communication between the desires.
Krishnamurti: Can you communicate with opposite desires? Or is the very nature of desire to create its own opposite? 'I want this house' and in the very wanting of that house is the creation, the breeding of a desire opposed to not having that house. I don't know if you are following this. So, Sir, is that the question? If we are not interested in saving mankind I don't suppose anybody wants to save mankind we want to save man, which is you, which is myself, man, the human being. And perhaps in bringing order within myself I will bring order around me perhaps. So the question really is; knowing there is disorder brought about by opposing, contradictory desires, how is disorder to be transformed into order? We'll keep it to the very simplest possible question.
Questioner: How do you discriminate between order and organization?
Krishnamurti: Will organization bring about order? To organize, the spread of more bureaucracy, to see that the institutions are working properly, will organizations, organizing everything, bring about order?
Questioner: Sir, what do you call 'order'? My order is not yours!
Krishnamurti: What do you call order?
Questioner: Order is regularity.
Krishnamurti: Is order regularity?
Questioner: Order is harmony.
Krishnamurti: Wait, wait! Now we're off! Whether you substitute 'order' for 'harmony', or substitute order for 'love' or 'beauty', it doesn't matter, you follow? But what do you mean by order? To have everything go like clockwork? To repeat, repeat, so that the habits which you have cultivated are never disturbed, that you are never shaken again? The order of going to the office every day and coming back home. And therefore the avoidance of any form of disturbance, students' revolt, revolution, communism and so on? Anything to avoid disorder and hold on to what you have do you call that order?
Questioner: To return to the original question: it seems true that the desire to have order is itself disorderly.
Krishnamurti: I quite agree, Sir. That is what we are saying.
Questioner: It shows dissatisfaction with things the way they are.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. That's just it! He says, 'to desire order is to be disorderly' obviously! Ah, you don't see all this!
Questioner: When thought stops there is order.
Krishnamurti: You see that is a supposition. Look, don't you know what disorder is, in your own life? I am not talking of an organized house which runs beautifully, I am not talking of an entity who has no trouble at all, who functions like clockwork, does everything automatically, is never disturbed that's not order. But don't you know what disorder is in your life? No?
Krishnamurti: Sorry. I am asking if you know what disorder in your life is. Don't just say 'conflict'. Don't you know what disorder is? When you get up in the morning you dislike somebody, and at the same time say to yourself, ''I mustn't dislike''. Or you have contradictory desires, you want to fulfil, you want to write beautifully, but nobody recognizes your work, so you are in conflict, despair, struggle. You love somebody and that person doesn't love you, you want to sleep with somebody and that person doesn't want to sleep with you, and so on. Don't you know all this? No? You must be marvellous saints! (Laughter). And I hope you are not saints!
So you know disorder, don't you? Let's be humble about this. Knowing disorder, what will you do? How will you bring about order? Order in the sense of not being opposed to disorder. You follow? If you say, 'I will be orderly' then you have set a pattern, a formula, and according to that formula you are going to live, which breeds disorder. Right? So how will you bring about order in this chaos?
Questioner: Function naturally within the universal laws.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? Don't hate? The universal law says: Be kind, don't kill. Certain species of animals don't kill each other, they only kill other species. But we kill our own species. There are these universal laws love, be kind; but apparently we can't.
Questioner: First one must see the pattern of one's own existence and then drop it.
Krishnamurti: Is this just a game? This is serious. We all talk so easily!
Questioner: We return to the question of the impossible. Is it possible?
Krishnamurti: Oh, we dropped that yesterday. Don't let's go back to yesterday! We're going to find out, Sir. If you say it's impossible', we're caught again.
We'll start anew. There is disorder. We know what disorder is and if I like to live in that kind of state there is no problem, there is no saying: 'I must be orderly', because I like the disorder. I like to hate, I like to be aggressive, I like to be competitive, I like to say 'I'm bigger than you and my guru is much more tranquil than your guru.' (Laughter)
Questioner: I live in a world of like and dislike and I just have to get out of it.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir. How can one? I give it up! I don't know what you will do with it!
Questioner: We must look at what is going on in ourselves and see the contradiction.
Krishnamurti: Yes Madam, that's what we've been saying. Must we begin all over again?
Questioner: We are aware of disorder. How can we move towards order?
Krishnamurti: How will you do it, Sir? That is your challenge. Don't ask me! What will you do with it? Won't you say: what are the causes of this disorder? Work out very carefully what causes disorder in your life vanity, pride, and so on and as it is suggested, step out of it! Will you?
Questioner: We can't step out of it.
Krishnamurti: Of course not but that is what has been suggested: to step out of it. Somehow do some trick to get out of it. So, Sir, what will you do! You're going to leave here in four or five days, and you have this problem. Society is in disorder and you are in disorder; and you know the causes of this disorder. That's fairly clear. And what will you do? Go back and carry on?
Questioner: One cannot do anything, but there is quite a different state: of not knowing. In that state there is a seeing one sees.
Krishnamurti: Yes Madam, I understand that, but that doesn't solve the problem, I don't know how to look.
Questioner: In the state of not-knowing, in that stillness it may happen.
Krishnamurti: But I'm not in that state! I'm in disorder! I'm messy!
Questioner: But if...
Krishnamurti: No if... I m not interested in what may happen. I'm hungry, very hungry, and you come and tell me, 'look at it and you have food'. That is too old. I am in disorder; don't tell me, 'if you do this, that will happen'. Here is an actual state. What am I to do?
Questioner: We don't know the answer, therefore do nothing, there is no way out. Just live from moment to moment.
Krishnamurti: Is this the way you would answer if you were seriously ill, were in pain? Then you would do something, wouldn't you? Look Sirs, our difficulty is that if we accept disorder as most of us do and live in that disorder, there is no problem, there is no way out. Napoleon tried to bring a universal government, the churches have tried it, they have not succeeded, therefore it's impossible. If you accept that formula, then it's impossible. But to me, that doesn't mean anything! I want to find out. I want to live differently I'm not saying you should. I want to live without any disorder in my being, because disorder means unhappiness, misery, confusion, lack of insight and I don't want to live that way. I must find out, I'm curious, I want to go beyond the limits, I'm not satisfied by phrases: 'If I do this, I will get that', 'You should', 'You must not' all this means nothing to me, this is too childish, too immature. So I say to myself: 'What am I to do? Is there anything that can be done at all? Because I realize that any action on my part will breed disorder. So I must find a way of acting with equal energy, with equal vitality, with an equal intensity to the energy which has created disorder. I must find out a way of living entirely differently from this. If there is no way, I may just as well commit suicide which most of us do, uncons- ciously not physically. We say, ''It is impossible'' and withdraw. I don't want to do that. I realize very clearly what causes disorder. The disorder is caused by contradictory desires, by resistance and acceptance, and so on. My eyes are very clear now, because I have watched this. I see everything as it is, and not as it should be; I'm not interested in that. I see exactly what is happening, in me and in society. (Pause) You are waiting..?
Sirs, when you look at the stars of an evening, how do you look? Through a telescope, or with your heart? Not sentimentally, emotionally, 'God created them' and all those intellectual ideas but how do you look at the stars? Out of a disordered mind? Or, do you merely look. And to look, you must have a full heart and a full mind, not a chattering mind. A full mind is a silent mind and only a heart that is full can see order and the beauty of that order.
Questioner: So perhaps we can discover that man is part of nature.
Krishnamurti: We have answered this question, Sir. We are part of nature; that is of the animals. They are very aggressive in order to protect themselves, but not towards their own species. Sir, may I suggest something. Perhaps you will go out for a walk this afternoon, or this evening; or if you are alone in your room, spend a little time over it; find out what it means to look, to look with a full mind and a full heart, not with a cunning, petty little mind, which is always reasoning, fighting, chattering; but a mind that is full, and therefore very quiet, like a full, rich, river, with its great volume and depth of water behind it. Find out! And perhaps you will find out how to answer how to be out of disorder.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 5th Public Dialogue 4th August 1968
Krishnamurti: There are three more discussions. What do you think it would be worthwhile to explore?
Questioner: The first question you asked me when we met thirty years ago was: 'What is it you are seeking?'
Krishnamurti: Shall we talk that over together? There are several written questions, perhaps they can be answered in considering what it is that we are seeking. Shall we go into that?
First of all, you say: 'What is it we are seeking?' I would like to put the question the other way round, that is: 'Why do we seek at all?' not 'what are we seeking?' We shall talk that over too; but why should we seek and what is there to seek, to search for, to find out? I think the two questions are closely related don't you? Why should I seek anything at all, except perhaps physical necessities, food, clothes and shelter; but beyond that, why should I seek anything? Is this a wrong way of putting it?
Questioner: We seek because we are unhappy.
Krishnamurti: Ah, no. I can think of the answers too, but I am just putting the question. You ask: 'What is it we are seeking?' That is a valid question; and also there may be another valid question: 'Why should one seek at all?'
Questioner (1): We are discontented.
Questioner (2): We have to have curiosity.
Krishnamurti: Please, Sirs, these two questions are quite important, if you go into them. What is it we are all seeking and why should we seek at all? Perhaps in answering what you are seeking, you might answer also the other question, why should one seek at all?
Let's begin the other way. What is it that each one of us is searching for, seeking, exploring, reaching out to, longing for not only intellectually but with our hearts; what is it we are all wanting secretly, not only on the surface, but deep down in the very recesses of our own minds? What is it we want? The word 'search' implies doesn't it something very, very serious, something on the verge of the impossible, the feeling that it is something sacred, the truth, the ultimate, beyond the reach of man and so on. That's what is implied, isn't it, in that word 'search', 'seek'? If I am ill, I have to seek a doctor to get well. If I am unhappy psychologically, torn because my wife has left me, or because I don't fit into society, or don't get on well with my job, I am also seeking. And if all these things are granted, are fairly secure, I am also seeking something beyond the limits of thought. So when we talk about seeking, we have to be more or less clear. The scientist in his laboratory is seeking, exploring, enquiring. What category of search are we talking about? It was suggested: I am unhappy, I want to be happy, and I seek, search, long for somebody, some situation, some condition that will give me this sense of well-being, this sense of contentment. Or, I see what the world is, the chaos, the confusion and the misery there, and I want to find an answer to all this. Not merely an answer through the discovery of the causes and their explanations and going beyond, or controlling them, but I also want to find out what all this is about, if there is anything permanent, something that cannot be corrupted by man, by thought. Because one is crowded with so many experiences, with so much knowledge, one may seek a state of innocency, and so on. What is it each one of us is seeking?
Questioner: A state of everlasting bliss.
Krishnamurti: Can bliss be everlasting? Those two words 'everlasting' and 'bliss' may not go together. We'll go into it. Is that what you are seeking, everlasting bliss? Won't you get rather bored with that everlasting bliss? Or is bliss something that you cannot seek? It's like seeking happiness; happiness is after all a by-product, something that comes. So I think before we begin to define what we are seeking, let us find out for ourselves, for each one of us if we can, if we are really seeking, or are driven by circumstances to seek. I don't know if you see the difference. I say I am seeking because my wife, or husband, or something else has forced me to seek, because I am unhappy, because my job is not satisfying, I don't get enough money, my boss is cruel so I am seeking. Circumstances or environment, are pushing me. Would you call that seeking?
Questioner (1): It may be, to start with.
Questioner (2): It may he an escape.
Krishnamurti: I don't know what it is I am asking you. What is it you are seeking you, not somebody else?
Questioner: Maybe we all experience that there is something within us which is not shaped by our surroundings, which asks us to go forward.
Krishnamurti: We know what that word means, 'to search', 'to seek', 'to grope after', to reach out in the dark and come upon something that is extraordinary, which will be a great satisfaction and so on. And what is it each one of us not somebody else is really seeking? not what one should seek.
Questioner: Unconsciously, we are seeking something beyond, we don't realize it, but we seek through money, and so on.
Krishnamurti: Sir, to answer that question, wouldn't you take a minute or two to find out? Instead of immediately responding, wouldn't you take time to find out for yourself what it is that each one of us is really seeking? You may not be seeking at all. So please be silent, give two minutes to find out. ( Long Pause)
Questioner: I am seeking inner peace.
Krishnamurti: You are seeking inner peace are you?
Questioner: Some people do.
Krishnamurti: Ah! Don't bother about what some people do! You know, there is a tremendous lot in that question. What is implied in it? I am seeking, I want to find. And how do I know when I have found it? To find something after which I have been groping and say 'this is it', I must already have experienced it. I must be able to recognise it when I find it, mustn't I? And the process of recognition implies that I have already known it right? Therefore there is nothing to seek! When we say 'I am seeking', it means I want to resuscitate something that I have experienced in the past I want that experience or that state of mind, or that joy, to come back; the word 'seeking' and 'finding' implies that, doesn't it? So when we say, 'I am seeking peace' if one is really seeking it, which I question very much I must know what it means, I must know the beauty of it, I must know the peace of it, I must know the way it functions in daily life, and go back to it to live with it, to take delight in it. And to recognise that peace, I must have had a feeling of it, I must have had an experience of it, which means really, I am seeking something which I have known and which has escaped me. That is what is implied in seeking and in finding. No comment?
Questioner: I understand what you have said, that this way of seeking is to search for something we have already known. But is there another way of seeking and finding, without the process of recognition coming into being?
Krishnamurti: It gets a little complex, doesn't it? Let's begin simply. What is it each one of us is seeking? Do please stick to it.
Questioner: One is seeking what one wants, what one needs.
Krishnamurti: What does one need? Clothes, food, shelter, comfort both physical and psychological security, both outwardly and inwardly, a sense of certainty, to be free from fear and so on is that what we want? Would you call that searching?
Questioner (1): That is not searching, that is seeking.
Questioner (2): A scientist, in his research, may not know what it is he wants to discover, but he has a certain feeling, in the same way, perhaps most of us feel there is something intangible we must find, which can't be put into words.
Questioner (3): We are seeking truth.
Krishnamurti: How do you know when you find it? How can you say, 'This is truth'?
Questioner: Because it gives one a sense of pleasure and security.
Krishnamurti: So truth gives you security, pleasure, satisfaction, certainty does it? That is what you think truth should give you. But it may give us a kick in the pants!
Questioner: I think we are seeking a large area of comprehension, something beyond the limitations of the horizon which we have. We seek to eliminate such limitations.
Krishnamurti: It is suggested that we are limited and that most of us are seeking to break down this limitation and go beyond. May I explore this a little bit in words?
Questioner: Sir, how will what you are going to do be different from seeking?
Krishnamurti: I don't know. Let's put it this way: there are moments of total self-forgetfulness, total absence of the 'me' and 'mine', of 'my worries', 'my despairs', 'loneliness', and all the rest of it, where the self is not always active. There are those moments, clear, bright, with a sense of freedom sense of clarity; maybe that is what one is seeking. You know when one is very angry, at that moment there is no 'me' operating at all right? At the moment of a great crisis there is not this confusion of the 'me', the struggle, the pain, the anxiety all that disappears. Is this right? And at the height of sexual experience there is complete self-forgetfulness. And perhaps this is what most of us are seeking, a state of not feeling the pressure, the strain, the constant activity of the 'me' with all its anxieties, fears, drama, tragedy and so on is that what we are seeking?
Questioner: Isn't that also knowing what you are after?
Krishnamurti: That may be so, Sir. I am just looking at it, as we have tried the other way I am taking this one. Can you put your finger on it and say, 'This is what I am seeking'? You can't, can you? Life is much too complex. Can you say 'This is what I want out of it'? I mean, if you say, 'This is what I want out of it' you would pick up something very small, wouldn't you?
Questioner: I have been worried about establishing real communion with my wife. For the time being I am seeking that.
Krishnamurti: Look, we human beings want food, clothes, and shelter that is obvious, that is what we want; there is the whole complex, social, economic relationship between man and man in order to produce clothes, food and shelter for each other. Then there is this vast field of psychological, inward struggle, with all its contradictions, constant battles, with an occasional flash of joy, the psychological feeling of loneliness, emptiness, of not being loved, and of loving some- body with all your heart so that there is no quality of jealousy or hate in it. And also we want peace, not the peace of the politician, but a peace that is beyond understanding. We also want to find out what happens after death, or what it means to die, and why one is so everlastingly afraid of it. Also one wants to find out if there is anything permanent, timeless. And one wants to see if one can go beyond the known, if there is such a thing as truth, God, bliss, innocence, a law which will operate right through life without any action on one's part, if there is a divinity, something sacred, which is not the invention of man. This is the whole complex of existence. And how can I say, out of this vast field 'I want that'? You follow what I mean? Can one say that? We do! 'I want health', 'I want to feel close to my wife', 'I don't want any image between her and me', 'I want to appreciate the beauty of nature, of relationship' and so on. Out of all this I am going to choose a little bit and say 'This is what I want'.
Questioner: I understand all this, but is there a search without a motive?
Krishnamurti: Sir, do see the first question, which is: there is this vast field of existence, of different dimensions, different levels, different nuances, different feelings, different states, meanings, and so on, and being caught in all this activity, hope, despair, pain, anxiety, peace, hate, love and jealousy, can I say, out of all that, 'I want one blade of grass, one petal of this vast flowering beauty of life'? Is it logical to say that? That way we would approach the problem entirely wrongly. I don't know if you follow what I mean?
Questioner: We are seeking the excitement of life.
Krishnamurti: My god! Must you seek it? It's there! Questioner: There is one thing that's forgotten in all this seeking, in this vast terrain: that is 'oneself'.
Krishnamurti: That is what I am coming to, Sir. The 'one- self' is this terrain. Do look at it please, take time, have a little patience. There is this vast field I am living in, the contradictions, the demand for fulfilment the painters, the scientists, the military people, the politicians it's there. And that vast expanse is 'me' right?
Questioner: This searching is the very movement of life.
Krishnamurti: Madame, you are not even listening. All this is me right? This whole field is brought about through me, and I say, I will pick out one part that pleases me most, which will give me the greatest comfort call it truth, call it happiness, call it peace, call it whatever you like. And I see how absurd that is no?
Questioner: We are looking for what we've already found.
Krishnamurti: Sir, no. It is not like that. Do look at it first. How absurd it has become when I say, 'I am seeking truth', or 'I am seeking peace', 'I want harmony', 'I want God', or whatever. All this vast field is extended in front of me right? And I am that field no?
Questioner: I don't understand when you say 'I am that field'.
Krishnamurti: Aren't you that field? I am at one moment peaceful, the next moment angry, I want happiness, my wife has gone, I have no job, I want to fulfil, I want to express myself, I fight with others, I am aggressive, I am brutal, I am ready to kill somebody for my country, and I want God that is me no? And when I say, 'I am seeking', that becomes rather absurd, doesn't it? Seeking something out of this vast field which will give me complete happiness, complete safety, complete freedom. So my petty mind, which has created this terrible mess, says 'I want that' no?
Look, Sir, I'll put it another way. I am confused, I don't know what to do, I see this field in front of me, I see this is my life going to church on Sunday morning and cussing the world on Monday morning I am all that. I am literally con- fused, and out of this confusion I say, 'I am going to seek' right? And what I seek must also be confused. So will a man who sees very clearly ever seek?
Questioner: If a man sees very clearly he will not seek.
Krishnamurti: Therefore don't start with the idea of seeking! First acknowledge to yourselves with real humility, not with pride, that we are confused. And what does a confused man do? If I really, truly, with all my heart and brain, feel I am terribly confused what do I do? I don't go and elect a politician, I don't go to church to find out, I don't ask a guru to tell me what to do, because out of my confusion, I will choose a guru who will be equally confused no? So what do I do when I am confused? I don't seek right?
Questioner: The question for me is, to die to all this confusion, to die to my 'I'.
Krishnamurti: Sir, do please just listen for two minutes, don't accept it, but just listen. There is this field, and I am part of that field, it is not something apart from me, I have created this field, I know the causes of this confusion, I know the contradiction writing a book and inwardly hating the world all kinds of things are going on here, which shows me that I am literally confused. I admit it to myself in all humility, I don't say 'Part of me is not confused, there is a higher part of me, the Soul, the Atman whatever it is which is not confused'. The Atman, the Soul, which has been created by man out of his confusion, is also the result of that confusion right? So I am confused, and out of that confusion any action will produce further confusion. When I go to the guru, the best of them if there is such a thing and say, 'Please enlighten me', I will accept him, because out of confusion I don't know what to do; he will tell me what to do. And I get more and more confused. So I see any action, any search, any reaching out of this confusion is to further the confusion. Is that clear? This is logical, sane, ra- tional! So I won't seek. What I will do now is to find out why I am confused right?
Questioner: Why can't you stay in confusion and wait and see?
Krishnamurti: That is what I am proposing, Madame. That is what I am saying. When I am confused, I stay with the confusion. Because if I reach out, it is an escape. If I don't know what to do, I don't go round trying all kinds of things, that's a waste of time; but let me look. I stay saying 'I am confused' right? I don't escape from it, I don't find somebody who is going to tell me what to do about it, I literally stay in that confusion. Can you? Not say 'There is a God who will help me', 'The politicians will bring about order in the world'. There is nobody they are all confused like you and anybody else. Have you talked to any of the politicians? Have you talked to any of the priests? Unless they are dogmatic and absolutists and say 'This is so', there is always a question mark, there is always an uncertainty, there is a doubt, in the most intelligent of them. So why can't I, being confused, stay there? Do you know what it means to stay with confusion? Do you?
Krishnamurti: What does it mean, Sir?
Questioner: When you don't know what is what.
Krishnamurti: Oh Lord! No.
Questioner: A state of conflict.
Krishnamurti: Wait, one moment. I am in pain. I have got a very bad toothache. Can I remain with it for a few seconds before I lift up the telephone and make an appointment with the doctor? My brother, my son, is dead, gone. Can you remain with that fact consciously, not in a state of shock, but remain with it? See what happens inside you, not rush off and say 'there is reincarnation, there is resurrection', 'there are mediums who say my brother is living', he says 'it is a marvellous world, where you live is a perfect hell, come over here all that kind of stuff. Can't I remain quietly with the fact?
Questioner: Generally we can't, we are frightened of our confusion.
Krishnamurti: Sir, don't do anything. I know what happens. Here is a great fact do look at it, Sir a great truth: we are confused, and any action out of that confusion will only bring further confusion. That's a fact. That's a reality. Remain with that reality. Don't say 'I must do this, I must do that' don't do anything, just look at that reality. Find out what happens. All this indicates, doesn't it, that you have never remained, or been with, something you don't like. You like to keep and hold on to something that you like. To hear this word 'confusion' is rather terrifying, and we don't like it. The word awakens an image, the word has its own frame and content; it communicates something to you, and you don't like the idea that you are confused, it is most humiliating. To you who have money, position, knowledge, who are a professor, or doctor, to say 'My God, I am confused' is a horrible idea! If you honestly I mean without any sense of hypocrisy say 'Yes, that is a fact', remain with the fact. And to remain with the fact implies great sensitivity in your approach to that fact no? I want to know, I'll just look, then I begin to discover. Is the confusion which I see around me, in me, different from the observer, from the entity that is looking at that confusion? Now I am really prepared to enquire; knowing all the time that I am confused, I won't come to any conclusion, I won't say 'This is right, this is wrong, this must be, this must not be'. I am going to investigate. And to investigate, I must have great feeling, sensitivity, a quality of freedom. And this will come if I remain with that fact.
Questioner: You said before that a confused person should stop seeking and now you start seeking again in another way.
Krishnamurti: Would you like to know what I really think? Would you? I don't seek at all. Full stop. Anything!
Questioner: Then in that case you don't care whether anybody understands you or not?
Krishnamurti: Wait, Sir. What am I to do? I point it out and if you say 'Well I can't understand you', I explain; and if you still can't understand, I go into it again, and if you say 'Go to Hell' I go to Hell and that is the end of it.
Questioner: Then I come back to what I suggested. There is no way out, anything I do is wrong. (laughter)
Krishnamurti: Look, Sir, there is this fact: I am confused. There is an awareness of that confusion and to remain with it, not twist it, not try to go beyond it, is to be silent with that confusion. (Long pause)
Don't you find, when you are silent with that confusion, not trying to do something about it, the confusion then if I may use that word without being misunderstood flowers. You know, when you plant a seed and it is growing, one day it will put out a flower; and as you watch it grow, it becomes full of light and beauty and colour and scent. There is this seed of truth, which is, that man as he is, is a very confused entity, and he is responsible, he has made this confusion that is a fact, that's the truth. Let the truth flower the truth o& the fact that human beings are confused. It will flower, it will show everything if you are quiet. But if you keep on digging, saying 'I must find out', 'There must be a cause'' or 'I'll ask somebody to tell me what to do about it', it is like putting a seed in the earth and digging it up every day to see if it is growing. So when you plant a seed leave it alone. In the same way, if you see the truth of this, that you, that man, is confused, remain with it in silence; let it tell you, you are part of it, be open, be sensitive, be silent: it will flower and out of that comes clarity.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 6th Public Dialogue 5th August 1968
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner (1): Could we discuss intensity of passion that has no motive?
Questioner (2): Sir, is it possible to get rid of any image? I don't think so, because images are created by the first necessities of life.
Questioner (3): Can you speak about space and emptiness?
Questioner (4): Can you speak about action?
Questioner (5): Sir, you speak about energy; we have no energy, how can we get it?
Questioner (6): Can we talk about time?
Questioner (7): Is there some kind of incentive to action?
Krishnamurti: Yesterday we were talking about what one is seeking; and I thought we came upon a rather interesting question. I am sure all the other questions, which have just been asked, might be included in that.
There is this whole field of life political, economic, social and individual behaviour, communal and individual aggression, the ideologies of various political parties, and the religious groups at variance with one another; and there are individuals, that is human beings. There is this whole field of existence, broken up into fragments, each fragment in opposition to the other, the various desires opposing each other, the contradictions and so on. This is the field in which we live. And we said that this field, this structure, is brought about by oneself, by the egotistic activity of each individual. I think that was fairly clear. Now what is one to do? What action can one take, so that one acts not in fragments as a conservative, as a communist (and the communists are becoming rather old fashioned now), as a nationalist and so on and yet is talking about freedom, love, joy and beauty. There is this contradiction and the individual aspirations and motives and struggles. Seeing all that, what is the right action which covers the whole field, not just one segment of it? I think when we ask the question: 'what is action?', that is included in it. That action must be a timeless action, not conforming with immediate necessities, with the behaviour of a society and therefore an individual behaviour; an action which must be whole, complete, total and therefore timeless. That question includes time. Is there such an action? Or is man everlastingly condemned to function in fragments and to be always in conflict? One sees the limitation of human behaviour and human understanding; but being aware of this; one may not know where the limitation lies. So shall we talk over together this morning, what action should come into being when we see all this? Would that be worthwhile?
Krishnamurti: Right Sir. That is one of the questions which has arisen out of this morning's questions.
How are we going to find out if there is an action that in its very activity does not bring about its own contradiction? You see what is happening in the world: they are talking about freedom, resisting a system imposed upon them, they are demanding a form of democratic government if there is such a thing as democratic government and they are fighting. And there are the religious people, the Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, contending with others, each condi- tioned to a particular form of belief, dogma, ritual. There is the whole communal, social relationship between man and man; again, one observes there is fragmentation. And in one's own life, as a human being, there is this battle going on, of contradiction, of opposing desires. Being aware of this, observing this, what action should one take? What should one do? Is there an action that will always answer totally under all circumstances? This is quite an interesting problem, if you put it to yourself. Must we always act conceptually, that is ideologically and therefore fragmentarily? Is there an action that covers the whole field, all the problems? Would that be an extravagant question? Has it any validity for each one of us? What do you say, please Sirs?
Questioner: Yes, it would.
Krishnamurti: Do find out, don't just say 'yes' casually. Is one really serious to find such an action?
One has built an image about oneself. One can see how that image has come into being we won't go into the cause of it, of the many causes of it, which we did previously. There is the image that man has created in his relationship with others, which is the social image; there is the image of a Utopia, the perfect society, which the Communists imposed and accepted at the beginning they now have other kinds of images. Then there are the innumerable religious images: what one should be, that there is a God, that there is no God, there is a Saviour, or no Saviour, and so on. So there are images, patterns of behaviour contradicting each other and activities indulged in by each one of us, which contradict the social environment. There is the image that one wants peace, or happiness a formula that one has put together in order to find out of all this contradiction and confusion, a supreme image of reality, of hope, of bliss. We are confronted by what we have created. Is there an action that will be true under all circumstances and not bring about confusion, destruction, enmity? If that question is fairly clear, how would you set about finding out? How would you explore?
Questioner (1) (In French): The difficulty is to approach the problem correctly.
Questioner (2): Action is always relative to a situation. So I don't see a way to go into this question.
Krishnamurti: Action is only relative; therefore, being relative, it is progressive, getting better and better, riper, more convenient, more comfortable, and so on.
Questioner: What kind of intelligence can you use?
Krishnamurti: I don t know what kind of intelligence one can use I really don't know. I have put the problem to you because you raised some of these questions this morning - action, image, time, and whether one can go beyond all the images that one has built up.
Questioner: It is impossible, because one is using the bag of memories and desires which is ourselves.
Krishnamurti: Can one get rid of the memories? Can one put aside all the accumulated memories and act differently, is that it? I don't know. I am asking you. Here is a problem, please do give a little attention to it. Here a problem is put to you, it is a challenge to you. You can't say 'Well, I am sorry, I am not intelligent, it should be that way, but it is not; 'I wish I could get rid of my memories and begin all over again' that's no answer.
Questioner: There is a precipice between us and the problem, how can we reach over it?
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. I understand that. Look, don't ask me. First see the problem very clearly, don't create another image and say 'If I could do this, that would happen'.
This is the fact: we live in a world of fragments, each one antagonistically opposing the other; each one has his own particular form of aggression, each one has his own fear, each one is trying to live up to an image given by some professional writer of what society should be, what individuals must be. And as human beings are so limited in their understanding, that understanding has invented a super-entity who is going to save us all; which is another image right? Now, you see this problem. If you don't see it then we can't discuss the issue. But if one sees the problem one must naturally ask this question, it seems to me. So is there an action which is not fragmentary, which doesn't breed more confusion, more misery for oneself and for the neighbour?
Questioner: This would be the action of real love.
Krishnamurti: But I don't know what real love is! How do you answer this challenge?
Questioner (1): By asking yourself the question.
Questioner (2): Live with that question.
Krishnamurti: No. Take time, find out how you will answer this. Knowing that all the professionals political, economic, religious are always thinking in terms of fragments (they may talk about love, universal brotherhood and so on, but actually these are just formulas, not realities in their life; you cannot depend upon them. So there is a challenge which you have to answer.
Questioner: Sir, if you really look without an observer, the images will fall away and proper action will be indicated.
Krishnamurti: That's not an answer is it? If the images go away, the right action will come. But the image doesn't go! What am I to do, confronted with this issue? May I help a little?
Questioner: First, I have to see the question very clearly.
Krishnamurti: Don't we? Look at what is happening. There is Japan, the second largest industrial country after America, competing with the rest of the world; there is the whole Communist world I don't know if you have read it a Russian scientist has written an article which has been published in an American paper, in which he says Stalin killed ten or twelve million people because of ideas. And there is the whole religious world of the Catholics with their innumerable images, with their wars, saying that theirs is the only true religion. There is the business world. There is the world of armaments, war. And here are you and I living in this mad, confusing world, being drafted into the army, resisting war, and so on. What am I to do? Go and join the army? Burn the draft-cards? Become a pacifist? Or run away from all this and join a monastery? Or lose myself in I don't know what reading books, writing, anything so as not to face the issue? That is what we are doing in the world. And when you are faced with it, forced into it, driven into a corner to answer it, you have no answer, you say 'Well if you do this, that will happen'. The problem is clear, isn't it? Must it be repeated in ten different ways? Now, what am I to do?
Questioner: Deny all that and move away.
Krishnamurti: To deny what does that mean? I deny all this, but I have created all this! As a human being, I have produced this chaos in the world. You don't look at it. Here is a problem. I really don't know what to do. I can talk about it; I can invent 'ifs' and 'possibles' and 'I wish it were different' which is all immature, childish. When the house is burning you don't talk about the colour of the person who started the fire, what kind of hose you are going to use, what kind of water it is. That's what you are doing. May I go into it a little bit?
Here is a problem. To me it is an actual, vital, urgent problem not a superficial problem as vital as the demands of sex, of hunger, to get rid of pain. I have no theories how to get rid of pain; I go to a doctor and he will give me some pill. But there is no doctor, there is no system, no philosopher who is going to answer us. So I have to find out. Can you stop there? How am I going to find out? It isn't just a vague hope; I say to myself, I am going to explore. That is the first thing I have to do explore. I have understood the intricacies of the problem, the complexity of it, the various shades of Communism, or Catholicism and seen it, read about it, come into contact with people, I have talked about it with the people who are involved in it, who are committed to Communism or Socialism, battling with each other, ready to kill each other. So the problem is very clear. And now I am going to explore how to answer it right?
First of all I must have a mind that is not prejudiced, that is not committed to the left or to the right. You understand? To believe neither in God, nor in a particular formula, be it Communist or Capitalist. To be involved but not committed. I don't know if you see the difference, do you? As a human being I am involved in all this, but I refuse to be committed to any of it. Would that be logical? If I am committed to a particular party I will always look at the world with those ideas, with those formulas; they may be reasonable or unreasonable, but I am committed to them. Therefore the first thing I am going to find out is whether, though I am involved, I am committed. Am I? Are you committed? As a Conservative, terribly frightened of the revolt which took place in Paris, I am horrified because I am frightened; being afraid I can't find what the right action is. I don't know if you are following all this?
I hope you see the difference between being committed and being involved. This must be verbally very clear, otherwise we lose communication with each other. If I am committed to a particular formula, religious or philosophical, economic or social, and have given my life, my thought, my study, my energy to it, I have distorted my mind so that it is incapable of looking at anything else right? I say to myself 'only politics can answer all these questions, only the right political system'. Therefore there is an opponent who says he also has the right system. So I am not going to be committed; I am involved in human struggle, involved in this colossal, intricate, complex problem. And I ask myself, 'Am I involved?' Obviously that is a most sane thing to ask. Either you are, or you are not involved. If you are, you get out of it, or remain in it. Am I committed to any conceptual form of life, to any ideologies? One can understand political ideologies fairly easily and throw them out, but has one any ideologies inwardly? 'I must be', 'I should be', 'society is this', 'society must not', 'this is moral', 'this is not moral', 'this is right behaviour', 'this is wrong behaviour', 'there is God', 'there is no God'. One must be terribly honest in all this, otherwise it leads to hypocrisy. It is for each one of us to answer that question. The speaker has none, that is obvious, he has been at it for forty-five years, shouting about it!
Then am I frightened of giving up the old? Even when one loves new ideas, new ways of life, new buildings, one is loving and stabilizing the new which becomes the old, and is living in it. I don't know if you are following this? I mean, for instance, saying 'the new is marvellous, I am going to accept it', and then it becomes the old. That is what is called progress. So am I doing that too? Please watch what is taking place. This is actual meditation if you don't object to that word because we are really penetrating into the whole structure and nature of our thinking, our feeling, our activity.
Again, I am taking facts, not what 'should be; I am just looking at it. I don't condemn it, I don't judge it, I am just observing the phenomena that are going on outwardly and inwardly. And I see there is no morality at all in society. It is an immoral society and I don't know what morality is; all the morality I know is immorality, which I have accepted, lived with, and yet I am rebelling against morality. Social morality is respectability; 'kill your neighbour' for some ideology he may be ten thousand miles away kill him in business because you want to succeed, be aggressive, possessive, hold on to what you have, be competitive, seek status, position, power; all that has become very highly respectable, highly moral. I see that and I can't be moral along those lines. Therefore there may be a different kind of morality. To find out a different kind of morality I must completely deny the social morality. Are you doing it? You understand? Each one of us wants to be somebody, with the little knowledge that we have. I may dominate my wife and want to be somebody in the home; in the office I also want to be somebody. I want to sit next to God specially at his right hand! I want to do ten different things. I am very proud. So can I deny all that, not verbally, but actually deny the whole structure of pride, so that my mind is very clear? It has no personal axe to grind, in the name of God, in the name of society do you follow?
So I am learning about myself and that learning must be immediate. I can't say 'Well, I will take time to learn little by little'. I must see all this immediately. When the house is burning you can't say 'I will lay a pipe', you must find water immediately and act. And our house is burning. So can I see; the truth of all this instantly and therefore act instantly? (I don't know if you are meeting this?) Do I see all this, not as an idea or a conceptual perception, but am I actually seeing all this, the dangers of it, the poisonous nature of this world we live in, which we have created? Not as an abstraction, but actually in my life, am I doing this? To have no enmity, no grudge, no temptation, no aggression, and therefore to have a mind that is highly sensitive and intelligent. Not having one standard of action, but a mind which in the very freeing of itself from all these contradictory fragments has become highly sensitive and intelligent. And it is this t,~ intelligence that is going to act.
Intelligence is something different from intellectual capacity. You can't go to college to learn this intelligence by passing degrees and writing papers. This intelligence comes into being, not through time, but through direct perception, observation, seeing actually 'what is' both outwardly and inwardly; the inner creating the outer. It is fairly obvious how the inner creates the outer the inward ideology of Communism has created the Communist world. Ideology being the word, the form and the content of the word, and communicating it to others through various kinds of propaganda, through oppression, through killing, through torture, through all the horror that occurs. Conceptual thought and action is not intelligence. We have made this world, this society, and our human relationships into 'what should be', what is the right government', 'what is the right god'. All those are formulae. It is conceptual thinking and verbalizing that conceptual thinking in action. (I don't know if you are following this?)
Intelligence is not conceptual thinking, nor its expression through words; but intelligence is this awareness of seeing what 'actually is', and seeing my relationship to the world, which I as a human being have created; to actually see it in my life: my activity, my thought, my conservatism, my fears, my love of the new which becomes acceptance, and so on (which is my daily life). It is observing and watching the facts of that life looking at it; and out of this observation the mind becomes highly intelligent. It is this intelligence that is going to answer non-fragmentarily, as an action which will be right under all circumstances. It is this intelligence that is going to act, not a formula, of what action should be. Are we communicating with each other?
Krishnamurti: I wonder! Or am I off by myself? Don't say 'yes' I am not at all sure.
Questioner: Sir, there is a practical problem. We are listening to you with our minds. Occasionally we are watching what happens, but the mind keeps cutting in. There may be a moment of perception, but then we are back to where we were.
Krishnamurti: I understand. The question is very simple. I see for a moment very clearly and at that moment I may act, but the old habits, the old traditions come back and I'm lost. Are you lost when you see something dangerous when you see very clearly a bottle marked 'poison'? Even in the dark you are very careful, aren't you? You see, it is not how the ways of the past can be resisted, but rather to see very clearly what is, and your relationship to it. It is when we don't see very clearly, that the past comes into being and smothers us.
Questioner: Yes, this is the problem. Krishnamurti: Ah! It is not a problem. Don't make it a problem! We have got so many problems, don't add another one to them. Look, I see something very clearly and act, and the past comes as a tremendous wave and smothers everything. I can see why the past acts so imperiously, so directly: because there is habit, inheritance, the laziness of my mind, traditional acceptance of things as they are, because I am frightened and so on; it is fairly easy to find out why the past is so powerful. Leave the past alone for the time being. What is important is to see the past very clearly, which means to have eyes that are always looking to find out.
Questioner: Is it a question of the eyes being there already, or do they have to be developed in meditation?
Krishnamurti: What do you think? Don't answer, take time. Are the eyes there already to see very clearly? Or are those eyes to be cultivated? What do you think?
Questioner: Maybe they are blindfolded.
Krishnamurti: The same thing. How will you find out? Gradually evolve so that you see very clearly? Is there time to evolve? With the atom bomb, with the exploding population, with the threats of war, the hatred, the jealousies, the personal ambitions, you know all that is there time? Would you say when the house is burning, 'Through time I must cultivate the technique of putting the fire out'?
Questioner: Sir, when one's action springs from intelligence, does the word action imply a force of conduct, or does each step in such action occur independent of every previous step? In each step is one acting from intelligence independent of prior steps?
Krishnamurti: Is this intelligence separate from the past activity, from the past limitation, from the past confusion? Well Sir, you will answer this question when you grapple with the problem, which is: is there time now, with the population increasing, exploding, which is leading to more aggression? I don't know if you realize that. The more crowded the cities and the countries become, the more aggression there is going to be, more destruction, more revolts; and there is the threat of war. Each country specially the two dominant, most powerful countries is preparing instruments of incalculable destruction against the other; and there is confusion, there is misery, sorrow in our hearts. Is there time to say 'I will spend a few days to cultivate the capacity to see'? What kind of people are we? When the house is burning we say 'Let it burn, I'll take time'.
Questioner: It seems to me this would be acting out of a motive.
Krishnamurti: I took that as an example. Don't run the -- Page 184 --
Questioner: To answer now will take a little time.
Krishnamurti: Sir, please do listen. We say, 'I can't see very clearly, the past is much too powerful, my conditioning is this or that, therefore I must break it down slowly' and so you need time through which to cultivate perception. Do you see anything through time? Do you see clearly through the process of cultivation? Or do you see things instantly?
Questioner: Can one make people see?
Krishnamurti: Will propaganda help you to see clearly?
Questioner: Can we help other people to see clearly?
Krishnamurti: Oh, lovely, lovely! (Laughter) Back to the good old world! When I don't see clearly myself, I want to help my neighbour to see clearly.
Questioner: Does this energy, which you talk about, come into being when the energy which comes through contradiction ceases?
Krishnamurti: We know we have energy through contradiction, through self-aggrandizement, egotistic activities there is endless energy in that. And we are talking of an energy which is not of that kind, which is of a different dimension. How does one come to it? Only when I see how this contradictory activity, which creates its own energy, is making a perfect mess of the world, outwardly and inwardly. I see that! And the very seeing of the wastage of that energy is the other energy.
J. Krishnamurti Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 7th Public Dialogue 6th August 1968
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner (1): Could we talk about the quality of our looking and seeing?
Questioner (2): Could we discuss the religious mind?
Questioner (3): What does it mean to die every day to everything?
Questioner (4): Could you go into the question of order and education?
Questioner (5): Maybe we could discuss authority.
Questioner (6): What does it mean to be serious?
Questioner (7): Can we speak about discipline?
Questioner (8): Can we discuss responsibility?
Questioner (9): What to do when we are back at home?
Krishnamurti: I think that is about the right question! (Laughter)
Questioner: We must not seek: we must have a different approach to what we have gone into.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we should take up this question: what is the quality of seeing? And perhaps we could combine it with the question of authority, discipline, the religious mind and what we shall do when we go back home. Aren't you at home here? (Laughter) I wonder what you call home: the house, the children, the husband, the wife, the furniture, the little garden if you have one or the flat, the accustomed things, the usual worries, the habits, the sexual satisfactions, the office and the daily routine is that what you call home? That is rather an interesting point, isn't it? We'll come to that too.
What is the quality of seeing? First, when we see with our eyes, (the visual perception), do we actually see, or is it the memory, the image, the conclusion, that sees? Do please find out. We are beginning to discuss what discipline is this is discipline. Discipline, as the word itself is understood, means to learn; not merely to conform, to adjust, to obey, to imitate. But when we ask this question: 'what is the quality of the mind that sees', do we merely see with the eyes, or how do we see the object, which awakens innumerable associations, memories, incidents, pleasure and pain and so on? What is the actual seeing there? To discover for oneself what it is to see to see what is actually taking place one has to have a certain quality of discipline, hasn't one? Is one seeing only with the eyes, or is one seeing through a screen of words, the words which awaken the form, the content and so on. To be aware of whether you are seeing the object you are looking at only through the eyes, or through the many associations that object evokes, is the beginning of discipline. isn't it? I don't know if you are following? To look at this microphone I must pay attention to it, look at all the details, the network, the metal, the wiring; to look at it with attention is already the beginning of discipline. The very interest to look brings about the necessary discipline to observe. Discipline is not something outside of you with which you conform, or to which you adjust yourself. So we have disposed of this whole idea of discipline (I wonder if you have?), discipline in which there is authority. The pattern which becomes the authority, the knowledge, the experience how- ever necessary, makes the mind imitative, either suppressing or conforming, and so on.
When we look at something, either we look with eyes that are very clear, or we look with the image right? How do we look? How do you look at a tree, at a cloud, at the lovely morning-light, or your neighbour, or the politician, or your wife, your husband, your children how do you look at them? What takes place when you look? Is it possible to look at yourself without any image? Is it possible to look at the political party, or the ideology to which you are committed? Is it possible to look if you are biased? Is it possible to see very clearly if there is any form of fear? Is there any clarity of perception when I am thinking conceptually? Is it possible to look at what another says if you do not like it, if you do not agree with what he says, though you may withhold your judgment, or you may consider he is not being accurate but can you listen to what he is saying without any bias, for or against? It is not possible to see clearly so long as one is not aware of one's bias, of the image one has about oneself or about another, of the commitment one has to a political party, or to an ideology. When one observes one's beliefs, dogmas, conclusions, one realizes that as long as one has those screens, those hindrances, those distractions, it is not possible to see very clearly. If I like you, I can't see you clearly, can I? My prejudice, my pleasure of liking you forbids me to see what you actually are. Or if I dislike you, equally I can't see very clearly what you are; I won't even listen, either I get angry, or push you away.
We are asking: is it possible to see without the image? Obviously it is one of the most complex issues, because we are storing up every conscious or unconscious experience. Every experience is leaving a mark, a conclusion, knowledge; and with this conclusion, this knowledge which becomes the tradition, the inheritance can I see anything new with that? Or when I see something new, I twist it to suit my own particular idiosyncrasy, my own particular conditioning. I don't know if you are following all this? Are we communicating with each other? Under these circumstances, which are facts, not ideas or something abstract, is it possible to see anything clearly? Obviously it is not. If I am very conservative and I happen to live in Paris, when there are student revolts I am horrified, because my conservatism rebels against all that. So I am incapable of seeing clearly what is taking place, what is justified, what is an excess and so on. My fear would prevent my seeing the activity of those students clearly right? So the question is: is it possible to be free from these thousands of experiences that are pouring in all the time free in the sense that they don't leave a mark? Can a scientist any kind of trained specialist see the whole existence of life, or only a special part of it? If I say 'I know', won't that assertion, with all its aggression, fear, prestige, sense of power, authority, prevent me from looking? And can one know, or be aware that experiences do leave a mark, a scratch, an accumulation of knowledge, a tradition, and in the very observing see that they don't interfere? Is this possible specially when I am emotionally attached to something? If one is committed to the army, to the whole structure of armament and nationalism, obviously one can't see clearly what is implied in it, and one will resist, one will become the aggressor. Seeing all this, one asks oneself, what is the nature and the quality of seeing, that is not clouded by the past? Is this question clear? Can we go into it?
One has lived seventy, forty or thirty years and one has happily or unhappily gathered lots of words, concepts; one has many memories of youth, of the pleasures and the delights of sex, one has struggled, got a job, fought one's way through this culture and there it is, the past, from schooldays until now. That is the past, that is the 'me'. The 'me', the 'I', is a word with great content, within a framework which is always reshaping itself. And through that frame I look and distort everything. I have been hurt, not only physically but psychologically, inwardly; they have flattered me, they have respected me, they have insulted me. Can I look at the movement of life without all those accumulations, which are actually the 'me', the 'I', the 'ego', the self-centred entity. That is the question, isn't it? Can one die to yesterday and be new, fresh, innocent today? It is only innocence that can see very clearly, isn't it? Not the rich man, not the poor man, not the clever, cunning theologian, nor the man with a great accumulation of knowledge, but only the innocent mind can see very clearly. And it is innocent, not because it is naive, but because it has understood what it means to look clearly and therefore can die to everything that it has known. Please let's talk it over together.
Can one do that? If one doesn't, one is never free, one is doomed, one is caught in a rat-trap, going round and round in a circle. So can we do it? Can we discuss it?
Questioner: The mind is never quiet.
Krishnamurti: Sir, look, we have posed a problem, a question, it is a challenge. Before you can answer it, there must be an interval between the question and the answer. In that interval either the mind is quiet to look, or is searching, groping, trying to find out the right answer, the right word. So what can one do? Be quiet, can't one? This is a new question, a new challenge, and you don't understand the whole implication of it; you can't immediately respond. You say: 'let me look, let me listen to that question very quietly, very attentively', and to listen attentively you can't wander off with your thoughts, you must give your heart and mind to listen to that question. And then you say, 'is it possible to die, to put aside everything that one knows?' You don't die to the technological knowledge, the knowledge which is mechanical, which is necessary for going home, for the office you can't die to that. A scientist can't die to that vast accum- ulated knowledge. But we are talking of the knowledge that one has gathered psychologically, which has become a form of security, which prevents one from looking. Can one die to all that? Is the question clear?
Let's approach it differently. What is love? Is love memory? The remembrance of pleasurable things and holding on to them? Is love pleasure? For anything that disturbs, takes away that pleasure, is a very dangerous thing. I am afraid of a person, or an incident, or an accident that might take away my pleasure, therefore I am going to resist and I become aggressive. Is love accumulated pleasure, with its resentments, temptations, aggression, defence? What do you say? Is love part of jealousy, hate? Have you gone into the question of hate in yourself: someone has done you harm and you hate that person? Hate is memory isn't it? Over five years, or two days ago, someone has done me harm; I remember that hurt, that wrong, and I keep on thinking about it. Hate is the past right? And is love in the past? Is love a thing of the intellect? Don't say 'Oh no, it is not, it is of the heart'. If it is of the heart, why is there hate, jealousy, envy, division, separation and so on, which is the outcome of conceptual thought, of the word with its form, content and design? So for most of us love is pleasure, accumulated by thought, given continuity by thought and when that pleasure becomes thwarted, blocked, it turns into jealousy, hate, aggression, fear and so on which are all part of the structure and nature of thought. And can I, can the mind, die to all that?
Suppose you have insulted me, or praised me: I look at it, I listen to what you say very closely, give attention it may be true, or it may not be true. If it is true, I see immediately that what you have said has some validity, why should I get hurt? If what you say is flattering, I also see there may be a motive behind that flattery, and I see the truth of it. Can the mind be awake to all this? The mind cannot be awake to all this if it is put to sleep by the past.
So, can one let go of the past happily, easily, without any struggle, just to let it go? You know that silence when there is beauty and love there is no touch of the past. Has beauty the colouring of the past? Am I talking to myself, or are you all taking part in this conversation? I am afraid you are not! Or are you being thoroughly mesmerized?
Questioner: Love is something unknown.
Krishnamurti: Is it? Don't you love your wife or husband, your family? Don't you love your country the country being the vested interests, the bank account there, the accumulated knowledge, your house, all that don't you love it?
Questioner: That's not love, that is contaminated.
Krishnamurti: But we say we love. You don't say 'I like my wife' do you? Are we playing games with words? You see, one of the difficulties is, that we don't want to face things as they are. We are so frightened, and also we are proud, we have no humility to actually see what there is in our life.
Questioner: There is an element of the past in love, one loves someone who is dead as if he were present.
Krishnamurti: This is a very interesting question. Once a lady came to see me whose husband had died some years ago, and she said 'I would like to meet my husband again'. Please listen to this, I am not being cruel. I said, 'Which husband do you want to meet? The one who slept with you, the one who dominated you, the one who went to the office and cheated, or did what he was told, the one who was frightened? Whom do you want to meet?' You answer it, please! Now, the question is: someone is dead, and I love him in the present. What is it you love in that person, in the present? I am not being cruel, I am just looking at facts.
Questioner: You love the memories.
Krishnamurti: Is that it?
Questioner: Beyond all this we have to know something very different, a wider consciousness something comes maybe that is the real thing.
Krishnamurti: Is that the real thing? That through all this perception something comes to us? Maybe, Sir. Do listen. When we say, 'I love', is it the memory of the past? 'I love my son, my husband, my wife, they are gone, dead' and I love that person in the present. What is that person whom I love, in the present? It is my memory of that person, the attachment, the pain, the pleasure, the joy, the companionship, the tenderness, that quality of deep relationship that he or she brought into my life all that is the memory of that person and I love that person. Is love memory?
Questioner: Isn't it the realization of future possibilities?
Krishnamurti: Is it? Is love time? That is, I love the memory of my husband, my wife which is of yesterday, which is of the past and I love the Utopia, the ideology of tomorrow, which is still a memory, a thought. Is love thought, a word, a formula? I may love a formula, but is that love? So one asks: is love of time? You understand now? Is the picture clear? The past and the future, with their memories, with their hopes is that love? Is love made up of time?
Questioner: Isn't it possible to have a creative relationship with someone who is dead, because be or she is seen without the conflict of the living relationship?
Krishnamurti: Is it? I didn't have it when he or she was living, but now I am going to bring about a creative relationship with him what does it mean? How sad it all is, isn't it? No? We live in ideas, concepts, formulas, and we don't know what love is.
So we are asking: is it possible to see with love? To listen is the same thing as to see, in this sense. Is it possible to see and to listen with that quality of mind that is not burdened with the past, with that attention which is love? Is it? If it is not possible, then there is no way out of our vicious, deadly circle. Then we are caught. And in that prison we talk about freedom, God, love, truth, but it has no meaning; that is mere pretence, and thereby we cultivate hypocrisy and pride. What has love to do with all this?
Questioner: It seems to me, that when we say we love, unconsciously we are considering the past. Our attachment to our wife, our friends, our home and country is to something we know and so we are afraid of the future. We are attached to what we know, because we are afraid.
Krishnamurti: That's right. You are saying: my love is attachment. Yes Sir, that is what we all say. My love is attachment to my family, to my home, to my precious memories, I am afraid to let go, because in letting go I find I am lonely, and there is fear. And so the loneliness, the fear, prevents me from being free from attachment. I cultivate detachment, which is a clever trick, because I can't let go of attachment, being afraid of my loneliness, of my emptiness, of my incapacity to look at anything with a quality of freshness. So I cling to everything, to my money, to my job, to my beliefs, to my gods, to my experiences, to my family, to my country oh, don't you know all this?
Questioner. There is another question, Sir. The things I cling to, do I really know them, or only think I do?
Krishnamurti: That's right, Sir. Do I really know what it is I am clinging to? I cling to my house listen to this I cling, I am attached to that house I am that house! right? Have you seen a man riding a horse? Have you ever looked at it? The horse is much more dignified, more beautiful, lovely, with a freshness and the man on top there he is attached to the horse! (Laughter) He is the horse, but the horse is not the man. (Laughter) So when you are attached to your furniture my God! just think of it! you are the furniture, you are the pictures, you are the things that you are attached to, and that is worthless. The problem is, how to see clearly so that there is this flowering of love. You know, without love and beauty there is no truth, there is no god, there is only a morality which becomes immoral.
So you are going back home; what are you going to do there? You have to have shelter, food and clothes can you go back home with a fresh mind and a full heart? Dreadful things are happening in the world, and we are all part of that, we have made it the home, the nation, the army, the politicians, the crooked thinking, the hypocrisy, all that we are responsible for it; not the Americans in Vietnam and the war there. It is you and I who are responsible. Can you leave all this absurdity, this chaos and flower anew?