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2nd Public Talk - 11th July 1967

2nd Public Talk - 11th July 1967

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Talks and Dialogues, Saanen 1967

We were saying that it is important to be completely free from the psychological structure of society, that is, to be completely out of society. To understand the problems of the social structure of which we are part and also to be free from them, we need considerable energy, vigour and vitality.

The more one sees how complex society is the more it becomes obvious how complex the individual that lives in society is. The individual is part of the society he has created, his psychological structure is essentially of that society. To understand the problems which each one of us has is to understand the problems of relationship within society - for we have only one problem really and that is the problem of relationship in this social, psychological structure. To understand and to be free of the problem of relationship one needs a great deal of energy, not only physical and intellectual energy, but an energy that is not motivated or dependent on any psychological stimulation or on any drugs; to have this energy one must first understand how one dissipates energy. We shall go into it step by step and please realize that the speaker is only a mirror, he is voicing what he hopes is the problem of each one of us; in this way one is not just hearing a series of words and ideas but actually listening to and observing oneself, not in terms of what the speaker or another formulates, but rather one is observing the actual state of one's own confusion, one's own lack of energy, misery, the sense of utter hopelessness and so on.

If one is dependent on any stimulation, for the energy which one needs, then that very stimulation makes the mind dull, insensitive, not acute. One may take the drug LSD or other forms of drugs and one may temporarily find enough energy to see things very clearly, but one reverts to one's former state and becomes dependent on that drug more and more. All stimulation, whether of the church, of the drink or drug, or the speaker, will inevitably bring about a dependence and that dependence prevents one from having the vital energy to see clearly for oneself. Any form of dependence on any stimulation lessens the quickness and vitality of the mind. We all depend, unfortunately, on something, it may be dependence on a relationship, or on the reading of an intellectual book, or on certain ideas and ideologies we have formulated; or we depend on solitude, isolation, denial, resistance - these obviously distort and dissipate energy.

One has to become aware of what it is that one is dependent upon. One has to find out why one depends on anything at all, psychologically - I don't mean technologically, or depending on the milkman - but psychologically, why do we depend, what is involved in dependence? This question is essential in investigating the dissipation, deterioration and distortion of energy - the energy we need so vitally to understand the many problems.

What is it on which we so depend, is it a person, a book, a church, a priest, an ideology, a drink or a drug - what are the various supports which each one of us has, subtly or very obviously? Why do we depend and does discovering the cause of a dependence free the mind from that dependence? Do you understand the question? We are taking the journey together - you are not waiting for me to tell you the causes of your dependency, but rather, in enquiring together, we will both discover them - that discovery will be yours, and being yours it will give you vitality. One discovers for oneself that one depends upon something, upon, say, an audience which will stimulate one, therefore one needs that audience. One may derive, from addressing a large group of people, a kind of energy, one depends upon that audience for that energy, upon whether it agrees or disagrees. The more it disagrees the more there is a battle and the more vitality one has, but if the audience agrees then one does not derive that energy. One depends - why? And one asks oneself if in discovering the cause of one's dependence one will free oneself of that dependence. Go into it slowly with me please. One discovers that one needs an audience because it is a very stimulating thing to address people - why does one need that stimulus? Because in oneself one is shallow, in oneself one has nothing, no source of energy which is always full, rich, vital, which is moving, living. In oneself one is enormously poor, one has discovered that, the cause of one's dependence. Does the discovery of the cause free one from being dependent or is the discovery of the cause merely intellectual, merely the discovery of a formula? If it is an intellectual investigation and the intellect has found the cause of the mind's dependence, through rationalization, through analysis, then does that free the mind from being dependent? Obviously it doesn't. The mere intellectual discovery of the cause does not free the mind from its dependence on some thing which will give it stimulation, no more than a merely intellectual acceptance of an idea, or an emotional acquiescence in an ideology will.

The mind is freed from dependence in seeing the totality of this whole structure of stimulation and dependence and in seeing that the mere intellectual discovery of the cause of dependence does not free the mind from dependence. Seeing the whole structure and nature of stimulation and dependence and how that dependence makes the mind stupid, dull, in active, the seeing of the totality of it, alone, frees the mind. Does one see the whole picture or does one see only a part of the picture, a detail? This is a very important question to ask oneself, because one sees things in fragments and thinks in fragments - all one's thinking is in fragments. So one must enquire into what it means to see totally. One asks if one's mind can see the whole, even though it has always functioned fragmentarily, as a nationalist, as an individualist, as the collective, as the Catholic, as German, Russian, French, or as an individual caught in a technological society, functioning in a specialized activity, and so on - everything broken up into fragments with good opposed to evil, hate and love, anxiety and freedom. One's mind is always thinking in duality, in comparison, in competition and such a mind functioning in fragments cannot see the whole. If one is a Hindu, if one looks at the world from one's little window as the Hindu, believing in certain dogmas, rituals, traditions, brought up in a certain culture and so on, obviously one does not see the whole of mankind.

So to see something totally, whether it is a tree, or a relationship or any activity that one has, the mind must be free from all fragmentation, and the very nature of fragmentation is the centre from which one is looking. The back ground, the culture as the Catholic, as the Protestant, as the Communist, as the Socialist, as my family, is the centre from which one is looking. So as long as one is looking at life from a particular point of view, or from a particular experience which one has cherished, which is one's background, which is the 'me', one cannot see the totality. Thus it is not a question of how one is to get rid of fragmentation. One's invariable question would be 'how am I who function in fragments, not to function in fragments?' - but that is a wrong question. One sees that one is dependent psychologically on so many things and one has discovered intellectually, verbally, and through analysis, the cause of that dependence; the discovery is itself fragmentary because it is an intellectual, verbal, analytical process - which means that what ever thought investigates must inevitably be fragmentary. One can see the totality of something only when thought doesn't interfere, then one sees not verbally and not intellectually but factually, as I see the fact of this microphone, without any like or dislike, there it is. Then one sees the actuality, that one is dependent and one does not want to get rid of that dependence or to be free of its cause. One observes and one observes without any centre, without any structure of the nature of thinking. When there is observation of that kind one sees the whole picture, not just a fragment of that picture and when the mind sees the whole picture there is freedom.

Two things have been discovered, firstly there is a dissipation of energy when there is fragmentation. By observing, by listening to this whole structure of dependence one has discovered that any activity of a mind that works and functions in fragments - as a Hindu, a Communist or a Catholic, or as the analyser analysing - is essentially a dissipated mind, a mind that wastes energy. Secondly, that discovery gives one energy to face any fragments that may arise and therefore as one observes those fragments arise there is a resolving of them.

One has found the very source of dissipation of energy, that any fragmentation, any division, any conflict - for division means conflict - is waste of energy. Yet one may think there is no waste of energy if one imitates and accepts authority - depending on the priest, on rituals, on dogma, on the party, on an ideology - because there one accepts and follows. But the following and the acceptance of an ideology, whether it is good or bad, whether it is holy or unholy, is a fragmentary activity and it therefore causes conflict. Conflict will inevitably arise for there will be a division between 'what is' and 'what should be' and that conflict is a dissipation of energy. Can one see the truth of it? Again it is not 'how am I to be free of conflict?' If one puts that question to oneself 'how am I to be free of conflict?' then one creates another problem and hence increases conflict.

Whereas if one sees, - 'sees' as one sees the microphone, clearly, directly, - then one would understand the essential truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all.

Look Sirs, let us put it differently. We are always comparing what we are with what we should be. The 'should be' is a projection of what we think ought to be. We compare ourselves with our neighbour, with the riches he has which we haven't. We compare ourselves with those who are more bright, more intellectual, more affectionate, more kind, more famous, more this and that. The 'more' plays an extraordinarily important part in our lives, and the measuring that takes place in each one of us; measuring ourselves with something is one of the primary causes of conflict. In this is involved competition, comparison with this and with that, and we are caught in this conflict. Now, why is there comparison at all? Put this question to yourself. Why do you compare yourself with another? Of course one of the tricks of commercial propaganda is to make you think you are not what you should be and all the rest of it. And from a very young age it begins, you must be as clever as another, through examinations and so on. Why do we compare ourselves at all, psychologically? Please find out. If I don't compare, what am I? I should be dull, empty, stupid, I'll be what I am. If I don't compare myself with another I shall be what I am. But through comparison I hope to evolve, grow, become more intelligent, more beautiful, more this and more that. Will I? The fact is that I am what I am and by comparing I am fragmenting that fact, the actuality, and that is a waste of energy; whereas not to compare, but to be what actually I am, is to have the tremendous energy to look. When you can look without comparison you're beyond all comparison - which doesn't imply a mind that is stagnant with contentment - on the contrary.

So, we see, in essence, how the mind wastes energy and how that energy is necessary to understand the totality of life, not just the fragments. It's like a vast field in which there are many flowers. Did you not notice, if you were here earlier, how, before they cut the hay, there were thousands of flowers of many colours? But most of us take one particular corner of a field and look in that corner at one flower - we don't look at the whole field. We give importance to one flower, and giving importance to that one flower we deny the rest. That's what we do when we give importance to our image of ourselves, then we deny all other images and are therefore in conflict with every other image.

So, as we said, energy is necessary, energy that is without a motive, without a direction. For this we must be poor inwardly, not rich with the things which society, which we have built up. As most of us are rich with the things of society there is no poverty in us at all. What society has built in us and what we have built in ourselves is greed, envy, anger, hate, jealousy, anxiety, and with that we are very rich. To understand all this we must have an extraordinary vitality, both physical as well as psychological. Poverty is one of those strange things; the various religions throughout the world have preached poverty - poverty, chastity, and so on. The poverty of the monk who assumes a robe, changes his name, enters into a cell, picks up the Bible, reads that everlastingly - he's said to be poor. The same is done in different ways in the East, and that's considered poverty - the vow of poverty, to have one loincloth, one robe, one meal a day - and we all respect such poverty. But those people who have assumed the robe of poverty are still rich with the things of society, inwardly, psychologically, because they are still seeking position, prestige; they belong to the category of the religious type and that type is one of the divisions of the culture of society. That is not poverty - poverty is to be completely free of society, though you may have a few clothes, have a few meals. Poverty becomes a marvellous and beautiful thing when the mind is free from the psychological structure of society for then there is no conflict, there is no seeking, there's no asking, no desire - there is nothing. It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all. Such a life is a benediction, that benediction is not to be found in any church, in any temple. Questioner: Is there not a paradox when you say that thought functions always in fragments and to realize that thought functions in fragments needs energy? Is that not a vicious circle?

Krishnamurti: I need energy to look, but to look becomes fragmentary and therefore dissipates energy - therefore, what is one to do? You see, Sir, I need physical energy, I need intellectual energy, I need an emotional, a passionate energy, to tackle anything - a sustained energy. But I know I am wasting that energy in fragmentation - all the time I'm doing it. Then I say: - 'what am I to do, here I am, I want to have this energy to tackle all the problems of life, immediately, but I'm wasting energy all the time' - by not eating the right food, by thinking about this and that, being a Hindu, having my prejudices, my ambitions, envy, greed, and all the rest of it. Now, in that state can I do anything? Listen to the question first, very carefully, don't deny or accept. I dissipate energy and I need energy - that is to say, I'm in a state of contradiction and that very contradiction is another waste of energy. So I realize that whatever I do in this state is a waste of energy. A mind that is confused, what ever it does at any level, will continue to be confused. It is not as if by living according to 'one moment of clarity', that confusion will be dissipated. If I do that, then that again breeds another conflict, it therefore furthers more confusion.

I see that any action born of confusion brings, or leads to, further confusion; I've understood that any action of a confused mind only leads to further confusion. I see that very clearly, I see that as a most dangerous thing - as one sees a great danger - I see that as clearly as that. So, what happens? I don't act in terms of confusion anymore. That total inaction is complete action.

Let's put the matter differently. I see that war in any form, killing another from an aeroplane at a great height or with a gun at close quarters, or a battle between my wife and my self, or a battle in business, or a conflict within myself, is war. I may not actually kill a Vietnamese or an American but as long as my life is a battlefield I'm contributing to war. I see that. I see it first, as most of us are trained to, intellectually, that is, fragmentarily, and I see that if I take any action in that fragmentary state it will only contribute to further war, to further conflict. So I must find a state in which there is no conflict at all - a quality of mind that is not touched by conflict. I must find out first of all, if there is such a state, for it may be a purely theoretical, ideological or an imaginary state which is of no value at all. But I have to find it and to find it I must not accept that there is such a state. So, is there such a state? I can only find out if I understand the nature of conflict totally - the conflict which is the duality, good and bad - not that there is not the good and not that there is not the bad - and the conflict between love and jealousy. I must look at it without any judgement, without any comparison - just look. I begin to learn how to look, not how to do. I learn how to look at this vast complex field of life, neither accepting nor rejecting, comparing, condemning, justifying - but how to look - as I would look at a tree. I can only really look at a tree when there is no observer, that is, when the fragmentary process of thought doesn't come into being. So I look at this vast battlefield of life which I have taken for granted as the natural way of living, in which I must fight my neighbour, I must fight my wife, I must fight - you know - compare, judge, condemn, threaten, hate. I look at this situation that

I've accepted - at this life which is me - and then can I really look at myself as I am, without any comparison, condemnation and judgement? When I can, I am already out of society, because society always thinks in terms of the great and the small, the powerful and the weak, the beautiful and the ugly - all the rest of it. With one act I've understood this whole process of fragmentation, and therefore I do not belong to any church, any group, any religion, any nationality, to any party.

Q: Reactions or feelings are affected by what you think, and when a mild feeling arises it doesn't affect relationship and you look at it and as long as you don't take any action about it, it does seem to fade away, but then a strong antagonistic emotion arises that does affect relationship and you also look at that without taking any action, it doesn't seem to fade away, it continues.

K: To react is perfectly natural, isn't it? If you put a pin into me I will react, unless I'm paralysed or dead. To react to pleasure and to pain is natural - they are the only two things I have, to react to. The pleasure I want to continue, the pain I want to discard. Reaction is inevitable, natural, but why should it always be broken up into pleasure and pain? I react and then - what takes place? - thought comes in.

Q: Before that, if you react violently, -

K: Wait Sir, just look, I react violently - you put a pin into me and I act violently - I hit you back or run away from you which is violence - both are violent. I feel antagonistic later, a second later, when thought comes in and says, I must do something. Observe it Sir, very closely, and you will see it for yourself. You put a pin into me, I react, why should there by any antagonism?

Questioner: Because you're interfering with me.

K: Life is interfering with each one of us all the time.

Q: So you resist that.

K: Now find out Sir, why do you resist? Go into it.

Q: It's the nature of myself.

K: Which is to protect myself physically. I must protect myself physically. Now, why do we carry that desire for protection to psychological states?

Q: Because I don't want to he pushed around psychologically. I want to be free, I don't want to he hemmed in.

K: Are you?

Q: I am of course, I resist it.

K: No Sir, you're not following, it's not very clear. Physically there must be protection, because otherwise I couldn't live. Now why does the mind carry over this desire to protect, psychologically. Why?

Q: Because of the self-protective reaction. Mind you, it shouldn't he like that.

K: No, no, no - don't say 'should' or 'should not'. The fact is, that psychologically we want to protect ourselves, defend ourselves, resist - why?

Q: When it arises it's a fact and when you look at that fact -

K: Before you go into the fact Sir, find out why you want to protect yourself psychologically.

Q: It's inherent.

K: There is nothing inherent. Go into it Sir. You will see. Why do I want to protect myself psychologically?

Q: Because my 'I' has certain characteristics and that's one of the characteristics. So therefore you want to say that I have to get rid of the 'I'. But you can't do that.

K: I'm not talking about getting rid of any thing. Why do I want to protect myself psychologically? I want to protect myself psychologically only when I don't know myself. The more I know myself the less I want to protect - because myself is nothing; it's a bundle of words and memories. I am protecting a thing which is not, which is merely an idea, a concept - and I'm protecting that, I'm resisting, I'm defending, I'm quarrelling with everybody to maintain it. But the more, or rather, the moment I know the whole structure of that thing, there is nothing to protect. It's not a question of agreeing with me, Sir, do it.

Q: Therefore these strong reactions are going to continue until one sees oneself.

K: And if you like to continue with them, you will.

Q: Oh yes, but if you don't like them then you have to resist them. That's not right.

K: Look - resistance, defence, attack, all these are forms of maintaining a certain quality which we think is important, a certain state which we want to protect.

Q: It's only part of it.

K: That's a great part of it.

Q: There's a question of relationship.

K: All right - put it your own way - relationship.

Questioner: Now you don't want to behave in such a way that you have harsh relationships, even though you have the harsh feeling. So there you have to step in and interfere.

K: First of all we have to understand what relationship is, before we protect relationship. What is our relationship? If I'm married, if I have a husband, wife, children, what is my relationship with another? Not theoretically - actually - what is my actual relationship with my wife or husband? Have I any relationship at all?

Q: You certainly live together.

K: Of course, I live with my wife.

Q: And sometimes your relationship is friendly and -

K: Follow it, follow it Sir, go into it. I live with my wife, all the sexual appetites which I had when young have gone, more or less - I still have them occasionally - and what takes place? During the period in which I have lived with my wife I have built up a form of resistance, of dominance, or of acquiescence - I don't want to be nagged, I don't want to be bullied - all that goes on. I have built an image about her in myself and she has built an image about me. Now these two images have a relationship - not I with her. So there is no direct relationship - I see this taking place, all my life it has gone on, the image building and the defending of that image, and I see that as long as I have that image about her there must be a contradiction, though I may have a relationship with her as a wife, there is a battle going on, and if I want to live without battle I must first be free of all images. Now, is that possible? - never to create for an instant an image about her. Whatever she does, bullies me, quarrels with me, nags me, whatever it is, never to build an image - is that at all possible? It means that I must have a mind that is so sharp, a mind that is so very alert, that whatever she says never takes root. If you cannot do it, of course you have the relationship of images which will be everlastingly in battle with each other.

Q: We're not attacking the same point - because in the office or with people with whom you are associated something may happen and you react with a violent feeling. Well now, the fact is that you're not so alert, that feeling -

K: So, find out why you're not so alert.

Q: But in the meantime -

K: There is no meantime.

Q: I don't want to quarrel with my office -

K: Well don't quarrel with your office.

Q: That's what I mean, then you have to stop that.

K: Stop it. But much more important is, why aren't you alert, aware? If you can answer that then the rest of the questions will be answered. But you want the peripheral questions answered without dealing with the fundamental issue, which is to be aware, to watch yourself.

Q(2): How do we know that there is an outside world, how do we know that there's the essence of what the outside world is? Perhaps the outside world is a maya.

K: Now, I believe, the word 'maya' in Sanskrit means to 'measure'. As long as the mind has the capacity to measure it will create illusion - naturally. So they have said that as the mind has no other capacity except to measure, therefore what it measures is illusory. That's a philosophy that exists in India - that all the world is maya, is an illusion. So they say put up with it, forget it, your disease, your hurts, the world, the quarrels - it's just an illusion. But really to tell a hungry man the world is a maya, illusion, means nothing at all to him. A person who has got cancer, pain - to talk to him about illusion means absolutely nothing. What matters is not whether the world exists or doesn't exist, whether it he illusory or not, but the fact is there is the world - there's you and me in battle with each other - Vietnamese are being killed by this or by that. Those are facts and to understand facts we must be in contact with them, which means to look at them without any interference of thought, as prejudice, dogma, belief, nationality.

11th July, 1967