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4th Public Dialogue - 3rd August 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.
3rd August, 1 968