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75 - Chapter 6 - Bombay, 2nd Public Talk - 26th January 1975
I would like, if I may, this evening to talk about a rather complex problem of our life. We are going to investigate together this problem. To investigate is to trace out, so that you can trace out for yourself the human problems that arise in your daily life. We are concerned with the problem of living, daily living in which is involved fear, pleasure, sorrow and the immense problem of compassion, love. If one can learn the art of investigation for oneself, then one is free from authority, from following another, from accepting the ethics or the suggestions of others. The capacity to investigate demands that you are free to observe yourself, to look at yourself with all your problems and not rely on any one, because freedom is essential to investigate. If you are not free to look, if you are not free to examine, to trace out, then freedom has very little meaning. To investigate, one has to have this quality of mind to penetrate, to have an insight, so that you yourself are a master of your own action, so that your own mind is capable of examining seriously the problems that arise in your daily life because it is daily life which brings about a culture, a society either of highest excellence or of corruption. As we were saying yesterday, religion is the gathering of all energy to live a life daily of excellent morality, excellent action, a way of living that is not contradictory. And we are going to investigate, examine, trace out, the immense question of death because death is part of life, like love, like suffering, like ambition, greed, envy, the many hurts that one has received from childhood. All that is part of our daily life and without understanding all that, merely to enquire into reality has very little meaning.
We are concerned with our daily existence which is our relationship with another, which creates society. In going into this problem, there are three important things: the art of listening the art of seeing and the art of learning. The word "art" means to put things in their right place; to put every action, every thought, every feeling, all our miseries in their right place. So, there is the art of seeing, the art of listening and the art of learning. Now we are going together to learn or observe the art of listening. What does it mean to listen? I do not know if you have ever tried to listen to your wife, to your neighbour, to your politician, to your guru. Can you listen without prejudice? Can you listen without translating or interpreting what you hear with what you already know ? If you compare with what you already know, you are not listening. That is fairly clear. If you are listening with the desire to gain something, obviously you are not listening. So the art of listening means the capacity to listen and not interfere with, either agreeing or disagreeing with what is being said. And the art of seeing implies that you observe without the screen of your own images, without the screen of your own desires, just as you observe that tree or you observe the sunset just to see and not interpret what you see. Then there is the art of learning. The art of learning is to accumulate knowledge in one direction. That is what you do when you learn a language, when you acquire a technological information and gain knowledge about what you are learning and accumulating, which is learning to acquire knowledge, and using that knowledge skilfully in action. And there is another kind of learning, a learning in which there is no accumulation, a constant movement of learning which is non-mechanical.
Having stated that, we are going to learn together, investigate together this immense question of what is death because that is part of our life. You may not like it, you may put it away from you, you may be frightened of it, but it is part of your life. Life is a total thing in which there is involved the technological knowledge, all the information that man has acquired through centuries upon centuries about mathematics, medicine and so on. And also life is this agony, the pain, the suffering, the loneliness, the anxiety, the uncertainty, the despair, all that is also part of our daily life; and also it is part of our daily life what it means to love, which is to care, to be attentive when you care for another, to have compassion and that compassion can only come when you understand the full significance of sorrow and that is also part of life. So, it is with this, the whole of life that we are concerned with, not one fragment of it, not one part or one fragment of it, but the whole of life in which is included this thing that man has never been able to solve, which man is frightened of, which is death. To investigate into this question, to examine it, to look closely into it, first there must be no fear. Obviously, if there is fear, you cannot examine the fear of death. Death is the end of the daily living, the ending of your attachment, the ending of your pleasure, the ending of your suffering, the ending of your position in the Government, central or local, and it puts an end either through old age, accident or disease. This is the common lot of every human being whether he is rich or poor, whether he thinks he has reached enlightenment or is the man of ignorance, it is the lot of every human being and we have never been able to find out psychologically what it means to die. We have avoided death as something to be not looked at, to be put far away. And we must find out, not accept what the speaker is saying, we are sharing together our investigation, so that it is yours, so that you understand it, so that your mind is capable of looking and not avoiding, your mind is capable of finding out what it means to die.
There is the physical organism, the body, through usage, through time, through pressure, through all kinds of shocks and influences, it wears itself out. Here arises a rather interesting problem which is, the brain, our brain, is now being bombarded; bombarded by the politicians, the gurus, by all the traditions and it is put under great strains, both outwardly and inwardly. And that brain which is the most extraordinary instrument man has, is being gradually destroyed, by wrong kind of education, by the daily strain, by psychological fears, demands, urges, so that the brain which should operate freely, easily without any effort, is being compelled, destroyed, distorted. I do not know if you are aware of all this. You have your technological influence on the one side, tradition on the other, the authority of the Gita, the Upanishads and all the rest of it, you are being bombarded all the time and the brain which is very subtle, sensitive is becoming degenerate. That is one of the problems. So through old age, misuse, disease, the body, the organism, the biological instrument dies. That is inevitable. Then the question is why is man so frightened of dying? Why are you, if you face it, frightened of death and what is it that dies? You understand my question? The body, your organism will decay, and you are rational enough to accept, but you are frightened. Of what? Of your personality coming to an end, of all the things that you have accumulated, your knowledge, your attachments, your pains, your hurts, the very essence of the ego, the 'me', is that what you are frightened about, the 'me' coming to an end? Is that what you are frightened about? The 'me' which has gathered a great deal of information, which has suffered, which has enjoyed, which has worked, all that 'me' is that permanent? If that is permanent, then what is the end of this permanency? If I am permanent, what is the end of it? More trouble, more pain, more anxiety, or there is no permanent 'me' at all? Is the you, the form, the name, the quality and all the rest of it, is that permanent? So, you have to find out for yourself by investigating carefully, seriously, whether that 'me' is permanent, the self, the ego, the super-consciousness, the Atman is that permanent, or there is nothing permanent.
Now you have to investigate, you have to go into this. Is your attachment to your husband, to your wife, to your possession, to your name, to your bank account and so on, is that attachment permanent or in all relationship there is nothing permanent? Are you investigating together with me this question? You are attached to your wife or to your son or whatever it is you are attached to. Now, why is the mind attached? You are attached to your wife or husband - let us take that for the moment. Why? What does that mean - to be attached? And this attachment you call love. This attachment you call responsibility; this attachment you call duty and so on. You are great in your verbal gesture when you say I am attached to my wife. When you are attached, there is pain involved in it, isn't there? There is fear involved in it and your attachment is part of your egotistic fear not to be alone. Your invention of the Atman, the superconsciousness, the Higher Self, all those are the products of thought; thought which is frightened of coming to an end. So death is the ending of the thing which thought has made into something permanent. That is, can one die each day? You understand my question? You have problems, don't you? Can that problem end each day, end it, not carry over the next day because the ending of a problem is part of death. That which continues has no creative energy, it is only that which ends that can begin anew. So is it possible for your attachment to end, not in some future time, but now; that means you are preparing for death each day, so that your mind is fresh, so that it is no longer carrying the burden of thousand yesterdays. And you especially in India believe in reincarnation, don't you?
Krishnamurti: And you have never enquired what it is that reincarnates, what it is that will be reborn, take a new form, You believe in reincarnation. You who live a shoddy life, a mischievous life, a corrupt life, a life of fear, a life in which there is no love and you want that life to be born another time. Is that what you want? And you believe in that. Also if you really believe, then what you do now matters enormously. Because what you do now will either help or destroy you in the next life. So what is important is not next life, but this life, what you do now, how you live it. You know life is like a vast stream in which human consciousness is caught and it is only for him alone who steps out of that stream, there is no attachment, a life that is highly moral, not dependent on environmental influence. It is only such a man who steps out of that life, of this life of misery, sorrow, confusion, corruption; it is only such a man who can come upon life which is eternally true.
Now let us investigate again what is meditation. Unfortunately most of you have practised some kind of meditation. Unfortunately for you, you have followed somebody who tells how you should meditate and they have told you that there are different stages in meditation and so on. They have bombarded your mind, your brain with their practices, with their systems, with their hope and so on. I wish you had never heard of that word because then only you can begin to find out the depth, the beauty, the necessity of what is meditation. It will be good if you could forget all that and start as though you knew nothing about it. Can you do it? Can you start as though you know nothing about meditation? Actually you don't. You do what other people have told you. But you have never started as though you never knew a thing about it. Then you can begin to investigate; then you are free to look into this question of what is meditation, but if you are already crowded, bombarded, filled with other people's ideas of what meditation is, as you are now, then you are incapable of finding out what is real meditation. So can you for this evening at least, forget, put aside your systems, your practices, the assertions of various gurus, the various stages of meditation with dances and all that rot that is going on in this country, can you put aside all that and together in freedom, not in belief, not with the acceptance of authority, but in freedom, investigate what it means to meditate. Can you do this or is it asking too much because your brain as we said is being bombarded by all the Gurus, by all the so called sacred literature, by the strain and stress of modern life; your brain is being slowly atrophied, is becoming slowly incapable of pliability, incapable of swiftness of perception. So one of the functions of meditation is for the brain to free itself from this external pressure, from all the shocks, strains and assertions of authority about spiritual matters, because your brain has its own rhythmic quiet movement. That brain can regenerate itself, renew itself, make itself young, fresh, untouched by all the pressures, by the various shocks of modern society and it is one of the major functions of meditation to keep that brain completely whole. Now we are going together to investigate into what is meditation. I am not telling you what to meditate about, how to meditate, that is too infantile, but if you are at all serious, together we are going to go into this question.
As we said, the brain which now has been so badly educated, that brain which can only function in complete security like a child, that brain needs complete security. When it is completely secure, then it can function efficiently. And that security is denied when there is fear. So, the first thing in the enquiry into what is meditation is the ending of fear. As I pointed out yesterday, when you escape from fear, when you try to rationalize fear, when you try to suppress fear, then you are wasting your energy but when you do not escape, but look, observe, then you have that energy to go beyond it. Then the problem is that thought has made certain activities, certain beliefs, certain concepts as a means of being secure. You believe in God, don't you? Now the belief in God gives you security, doesn't it? Do listen to this, please. The belief in God gives you security, but you don't know anything about God, except what some idiotic man talks about God. So you know nothing about God and whet you believe it and you think you will find security in a belief which has become neurotic because it has no validity. Your belief in God gives you a false hope of security. Your action based on a false belief, on a belief which is radically false, must be neurotic. That belief is based on fear. The desire to be secure gives to the brain a false sense of safety. That is one of the causes of the deterioration of your brain.
Then there is the question of thought. Thought is measure; thought is the movement of memory as knowledge; therefore thought is a material process. Thought is not something sacred. That thought is in constant movement, constantly thinking about the past, the present or the future, is constantly working, working. Haven't you noticed your own thoughts? It is ceaselessly operating and one of the factors of degeneration is this constant movement in the field of knowledge. You realize that thought must be controlled and this control is part of your so-called meditation. I am sure you have played that game for years, but you have never enquired who is the controller and if the controller is the controlled, then what is the necessity of control at all? You are conditioned, educated through tradition, through literature, through all the things that you call sacred that you must control thought. But you have never found out if you can live a life in which there is no control whatsoever.
Because the controller is the essence of the past and the past with all its memories, fears and so on, controls another fragment of itself. Therefore, there is constant conflict. This constant inward battle between the controller and the controlled is another factor of the deterioration of your brain. Have you ever tried to find out a way of living in which there is not a single shadow of conflict? Or is that just an idyllic dream? So, meditation is the ending of conflict in oneself and in your relationship with another. Is not your relationship with another one constant battle except for the moments of forgetfulness, moments of great pleasure, sexual or otherwise? Don't you agree to that?
Audience: Yes, Sir.
Krishnamurti: So we accept this conflict, this struggle and we have never tried to find out, investigate whether it is possible to live a life in which there is no conflict. That demands great intelligence, not control, not suppression, which means the art of observing your relationship, the art of observing how you have an image about him and he has an image about you and therefore the conflict is between these two images, and whether you can live a life without a single image about yourself or another; that is part of meditation. Meditation is concerned with daily life, how you behave, how you talk, to watch your conduct. Meditation is freeing the mind from all conflict. Meditation is living a life, daily life, in which there is not a single conflict, a life in which belief has no place whatsoever, only facts. To discover a mind that is quiet, not compelled, not disciplined beyond measure, so that it is a mind that is alive, deeply quiet, a mind that is silent, that is part of meditation. All this is the totality of life - living in the technological world a life of excellence in manners, in behaviour, in conduct, and living a life in which death has been under- stood and therefore no fear of dying. And a mind that is completely quiet, not occasionally quiet. Then you will see if you have gone that far that thought which is measure, which is a material process, that thought functions in one area of knowledge only and does not move out of that field. Then only the mind will come upon that which is measureless, timeless and that which is eternally beautiful. All this is meditation and you must give your days and your thoughts and your heart to find out and for your mind to regenerate itself, to become fresh, young, alive, without fear, it is important to know the beauty and the reality of meditation.