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‘The Heart and the Mind’

‘The Heart and the Mind’

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The Urgency of Change

Questioner: Why is it that man has divided his being into different compartments – the intellect and the emotions? Each seems to exist independently of the other. These two driving forces in life are often so contradictory that they seem to tear apart the very fabric of our being. To bring them together so that man can act as a total entity has always been one of the principle aims of life. And added to these two things within man there is a third which is his changing environment. So these two contradictory things within him are further in opposition to the third which appears to be outside himself. Here is a problem so confusing, so contradictory, so vast that the intellect invents an outside agency called God to bring them together, and this further complicates the whole business. There is only this one problem in life.

Krishnamurti: You seem to be carried away by your own words. Is this really a problem to you or are you inventing it in order to have a good discussion? If it is for a discussion then it has no real content. But if it is a real problem then we can go into it deeply. Here we have a very complex situation, the inner dividing itself into compartments and further separating itself from its environment. And still further, it separates the environment, which it calls society, into classes, races and economic, national and geographic groups. This seems to be what is actually going on in the world and we call it living. Being unable to solve this problem we invent a super-entity, an agency that we hope will bring about a harmony and a binding quality in ourselves and between us. This binding quality which we call religion brings about another factor of division in its turn. So the question becomes: what will bring about a complete harmony of living in which there are no divisions but a state in which the intellect and the heart are both the expression of a total entity? That entity is not a fragment.

Questioner: I agree with you, but how is this to be brought about? This is what man has always longed for and has sought through all religions and all political and social utopias.

Krishnamurti: You ask how. The “how” is the great mistake. It is the separating factor. There is your “how” and my “how” and somebody else’s “how”. So if we never used that word we would be really enquiring and not seeking a method to achieve a determined result. So can you put away altogether this idea of a recipe, a result? If you can define a result you already know it and therefore it is conditioned and not free. If we put away the recipe then we are both capable of enquiring if it is at all possible to bring about a harmonious whole without inventing an outside agency, for all outside agencies, whether they are environmental or super-environmental, only increase the problem.

First of all, it is the mind that divides itself as feeling, intellect and environment; it is the mind that invents the outside agency; it is the mind that creates the problem.

Questioner: This division is not only in the mind. It is even stronger in the feelings. The Muslims and Hindus do not think themselves separate, they feel themselves separate, and it is this feeling that actually makes them separate and makes them destroy each other.

Krishnamurti: Exactly: the thinking and the feeling are one; they have been one from the beginning and that is exactly what we are saying. So our problem is not the integration of the different fragments but the understanding of this mind and heart which are one. Our problem is not how to get rid of classes or how to build better utopias or breed better political leaders or new religious teachers. Our problem is the mind. To come to this point not theoretically but to see it actually is the highest form of intelligence. For then you do not belong to any class or religious group; then you are not a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jew or a Christian. So we now have only one issue: why does the mind of man divide? It not only divides its own functions into feelings and thoughts but separates itself as the “I” from the “you”, and the “we” from the “they”. The mind and the heart are one. Don’t let us forget it. Remember it when we use the word “mind”. So our problem is, why does the mind divide?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: The mind is thought. All the activity of thought is separation, fragmentation. Thought is the response of memory which is the brain. The brain must respond when it sees a danger. This is intelligence, but this same brain has somehow been conditioned not to see the danger of division. Its actions are valid and necessary when they deal with facts. Equally, it will act when it sees the fact that division and fragmentation are dangerous to it. This is not an idea or an ideology or a principle or a concept – all of which are idiotic and separative: it is a fact. To see danger the brain has to be very alert and awake, all of it, not just a segment of it.

Questioner: How is it possible to keep the whole brain awake?

Krishnamurti: As we said, there is no “how” but only seeing the danger, that is the whole point. The seeing is not the result of propaganda or conditioning; the seeing is with the whole brain. When the brain is completely awake then the mind becomes quiet. When the brain is completely awake there is no fragmentation, no separation, no duality. The quality of this quietness is of the highest importance. You can make the mind quiet by drugs and all kinds of tricks but such deceptions breed various other forms of illusion and contradiction. This quietness is the highest form of intelligence which is never personal or impersonal, never yours or mine. Being anonymous, it is whole and immaculate. It defies description for it has no quality. This is awareness, this is attention, this is love, this is the highest. The brain must be completely awake, that’s all. As the man in the jungle must keep terribly awake to survive, so the man in the jungle of the world must keep terribly awake to live completely.