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Dialogue 15 - Madras - 7th January 1971 - ‘The nature of exploration’
Questioner A: All our lives we have been thinking in terms of cause and operating on cause. Our whole life is living with cause, finding out the cause and trying to control the cause. Even when we know the cause we cannot operate on it. This is also a part of our experience. Buddha discovered the cause of suffering and was liberated from suffering. You say cause is effect and effect is cause, and you also point out that in this cause and effect, time is inescapable. Even after listening to you, the impact of cause and the operating on cause has become an integral part of one’s thinking. Can we go into it?
Krishnamurti: What is the question?
A: To explore the validity of the cause-effect sequence in respect of understanding.
Krishnamurti: What does it mean – to explore? What is the state of the mind which explores rather than the fact of exploration? You say all action has a cause and that cause affects action and without understanding cause, do what you will with action, it will always be limited. So explore the cause, understand the cause and thereby bring about a mutation in action.
I do not know the cause of my action. There may be obvious causes and other causes which are undiscoverable by the conscious mind. I can see the superficial causes for action; but these superficial causes have very deep roots in the recesses of one’s own being.
Now, can the conscious mind not only examine the superficial but also uncover the deeper? Can the conscious mind ever examine the deeper layers? And what is the state of the mind which explores? These three questions are important. Otherwise discovering the cause has no meaning.
R: You explore when you do not know.
Krishnamurti: First we asked what is the quality of the mind which is exploring? What is it exploring – the superficial or the causes which are so deeply hidden? So before I begin to explore, I must find out the state of the mind which explores. Now, what is the state of the mind, the quality of the mind that can explore? You say the Buddha said this, somebody said that, and so on, but what is the quality of the mind that has the capacity, that can explore? What is the ‘I’ which explores – is it crooked, myopic, far-sighted? I must see the quality of the mind which looks at the carpet before I can see anything. Obviously, it must be a free mind. Have you a mind that is free from any conclusion? Otherwise you cannot explore.
A: We have unconfessed postulates and we see and drop them.
Krishnamurti: What you are doing is analysis. You are analysing step by step. When you analyse, what takes place? There is the analyser and the thing analysed. The analyser must be extremely clear-sighted to analyse, and if this analysis is in any way twisted, it is not worth anything. The analytical, intellectual process implies time. By the time you have enquired through analysis, through time, other factors enter which distort the cause. So the way of analysis is entirely wrong. So, there has to be a dropping of analysis.
J: I am confused.
Krishnamurti: Yes, it is a fact we are confused. We do not know what to do and we begin to analyse.
A: The process of analysis is to us something concrete. You said while you operate on cause, some other factors enter. Does it mean the analysis of the problem becomes inconsequential?
Krishnamurti: I think the whole process is wrong. I am concerned with action which is put together by a series of analytical examinations, analytical implications in which time is involved. By the time I find what I sought, I am exhausted, dead. It is difficult with the conscious mind to analyse, to examine the hidden layers. So I feel this whole intellectual process is wrong. I say this without any disrespect.
A: We have only that tool – the intellect, as a means of examination. Is the intellect capable of examination except to collect, recollect, foresee, analyse? Intellect is capable of that. It is only a fragment. Therefore, the examination by a fragment can only bring about a fragmentary understanding. What do we do?
R: I cannot do anything.
Krishnamurti: You say the intellect is the only instrument one has which has the capacity to examine. Has it? Has the intellect the capacity to examine or does it examine only partially? I see the truth of that, not as a conclusion, not as an opinion, but the fact that the intellect being partial can examine only partially and therefore I no longer use the intellect.
A: Such a mind can lapse into belief. You are saying the mind senses this.
Krishnamurti: The drug-taking, the whole of that, is part of the same phenomenon.
A: When the mind superficially turns away from analysis, it falls into other traps; so this has to be done rigorously with the intellect.
Krishnamurti: Analysis is not the way.
A: With what instrument do we explore? Our reason must corroborate what you say.
J: You arrive there by some path which is not analytical. We see the logic of it.
Krishnamurti: I tell you analysis is not the way of understanding. I give you the logical sequences using reason. That is only an explanation. Why don’t you see the truth that analysis is not the way?
A: When you say “I examine and this is so”, it is pure logic.
Krishnamurti: What you have done is to come to a conclusion through logic, but we are not talking of logic. Logic has led you to analysis. Somebody says your logic is false, because your logic is based on the fact of intellect, which is partial; therefore partial examination is no examination at all.
A: It is partial analysis.
Krishnamurti: It is like saying that I love my wife partially.
A: In the effort to understand environment, nature, outer phenomenon man has developed certain instruments and here too we use the same instruments; but they are inadequate.
Krishnamurti: They are not inadequate. They are not adequate. Analysis, process, involves time. As it involves time, it must be partial. The partial is brought about by the intellect, because the intellect is part of the whole structure.
A: What is the instrument which explores when you put the question? When we put the question, we go back to the intellect.
Krishnamurti: You began by saying that the intellect is the only instrument of examination. I say the intellect is partial and, therefore, your examination will be lopsided. Therefore your examination is invalid.
A: It is very clear that the intellect is partial and cannot see, but it starts working through habit.
Krishnamurti: “A” began by telling of cause-effect, effect-cause – those are processes of analysis. Analysis implies time and in such analysis there is the analyser and the analysed. The analyser must be free from past accretions, otherwise he cannot analyse. As he cannot be free of the past, analysis has no validity. Seeing that, I say it is finished. Therefore, I am looking for another way.
A: This is the shortest summary – with logic, logic is wiped out.
Krishnamurti: I see analysis is not the way. That frees the mind from a false process altogether. So the mind is much more vital. It is like a man walking with a heavy burden and the heavy burden is removed.
A: But with us the burden comes back.
Krishnamurti: The moment you perceive something to be true, how can it return? The moment you see that the snake is dangerous, you do not go back to the snake.
A: Nagarjuna says “if you see what I am saying as a concept, you are finished.”
J: Is there some other way?
A: You say something. The moment you say something, the instrument stops operating, because that instrument is not going to say anything more.
Krishnamurti: But that instrument is very sharp, very clear; it abstains from any partial action taking place.
A: It is constantly watching, it can operate.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir, the whole analytical process is finished.
A: When we have gone through this....
Krishnamurti: No, we are not exploring. I am showing you how to explore. What you have done is you have used intellect, the partial instrument and thought that was the complete answer. See how the mind has deceived itself, how it says “I have analysed all this”, but it has not seen how partial it is, and therefore it is valueless. The intellect itself has become valueless as an instrument apart from other factors. I am asking myself if intellect is not the instrument of examination, then what takes place?
A: One comes to believe in the need for support or for the help of some prop, when one comes to this point.
Krishnamurti: The factor is, intellect is an incomplete instrument and cannot understand a total factor, a total movement. Then what is examination? If the intellect cannot explore, what is the instrument that can explore? What do Sankara, Nagarjuna, Buddha say about this? Find out. Do any of them deny the intellect?
A: They say explore with the help of the terra firma.
Krishnamurti: That is with partial vitality, energy, explore the whole energy. How can it? Why have they said this?
R: The Vedantic concept is that with the intellect you cannot see, but with the Self or the atman, which is of the very nature of perception, you can see.
A: As our minds have been heavily conditioned, when we get a support, we hold on.
Krishnamurti: What we want to find out is, analysis and the way of the intellect is not exploration at all. It is like saying “I go partly into the tunnel.” What is the quality of the mind if the intellect is not the instrument”?
A: When the intellect is totally put aside, then the mind has nothing of the past in it.
Krishnamurti: Who is it that has to put it aside? Then you are back again into the dualistic principle.
A: We see the intellect is partial.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, we are asking: What is the quality of the mind that can explore – mind being not only the intellect but the brain cells, the biological, the physical, the nerves, the whole thing, the total, the complete. What is the quality of the mind that can explore? I see that any partial movement is incomplete and, therefore, does not get anywhere. I see that partial seeing is no seeing at all, and therefore I am finished with it. It is completely over. The mind then asks what the nature of perception is that is total. And it is only such a total perception that can examine. And it may not need to examine at all, because that which has to be examined is of the partial field – division, analysis, exploration.
I am asking what total perception is, what is the quality of total perception?
A.: Movement of any kind cannot be total perception.
Krishnamurti: What is total perception?
R: It seems as if there is no instrument because the instrument belongs to something.
Krishnamurti: What is the difficulty? When you look out of the window and see these bushes, how do you look at them? You are usually thinking about something and at the same time looking. I say you have to look, that is all. What is the difficulty? We never look. If I look at a picture, I look. I do not say this painter is so and so, this painter is better than somebody else. I have no measure. I do not verbalize. We said just now partial looking is no looking at all, therefore, the mind has finished with the partial, so when I do look, I look.
R: The element of habit is so strong.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, the mind which is caught in habit cannot explore. So we have to examine the mind which is caught in habit and not exploration. We have to understand habit. Forget exploration, causation, analysis. Forget all that. Can the mind understand habit? Let us tackle that.
A: Whatever you say with the intellect is partial.
Krishnamurti: See the truth of it, not the 1ogic of it. You can supply the logic later. What you thought was the door is not the door. You will not move towards that once you see it, but you do not see it.
R: What is the difference between perception and recognition? For us perception is only there in the form of recognition.
Krishnamurti: You recognize through association. Recognition is part of the habit of association. So I am saying you cannot examine, explore with a mind which is used to habit. Therefore, find out the mechanism of habit. Do not find out how to examine, but find out what is habit.
A: Habits are grooves.
Krishnamurti: How have habits been formed? That is the door. I am going through that door, now why does the mind fall into habit? What is habit? How is it that the mind falls into habit? I am going to analyse it.
We use analysis which is partial, which is not total understanding. Knowing that it is valueless, we still continue – why does the mind fall into habit? Is it because it is the easiest way to function? To get up at six, to go to bed at seven. There is no friction; I do not have to think about it.
A: I look at a tree. I do not have to think about it. And yet the mind says it is a tree.
Krishnamurti: It is a habit. Why does the mind fall into habit? It is the easiest way to live; it is easy to live mechanically. Sexually and in every other way it is easy to live that way. I can live life without effort, change, because in that I find complete security. In habit there is no examination, searching, asking.
R: I live within the field of habit.
Krishnamurti: So habit can only function within a very small field. Like a professor who is marvellous but functions in a very small field; like a monk who operates within a very small cell. The mind wanting safety, security, no change, lives in patterns. That is a partial examination. But it does not free the mind from patterns. So what shall I do?
A: Having seen this, knowing that partial understanding is no understanding, how does the mind free itself totally from habit?
Krishnamurti: I am going to show you.
A: We have examined habit, but the mind does not get out of it.
Krishnamurti: You will never go back to the analysis of habit. You are no longer going to examine the causes of habit. So the mind is free of the burden of analysis which is part of habit. So you have got rid of it.
R: Yes, yes -
Krishnamurti: No. It must go. Not merely verbally. Habit is not only symptomatic, but psychosomatic. When we have examined habit as we have done, it is over.
A: We are not free of habit.
Krishnamurti: Because you are still insisting the door is there. We started out saying “I know”. There is a certain sense of arrogance. You do not say “I want to find out.” 26 Then what is total perception when the mind is free from habit? Habit implies conclusions, formulas, ideas, principles. All these are habits. Habit is the essence of the observer.
R: It is all that we know of the “I”.
Krishnamurti: To find this out, I go to a book. That is where the damage is done, the damage which the other people have established, the Sankaras, the Buddhas and all the others. I prefer this one, I prefer the other one, and so on. I will not let go because that is my vanity. I argue. You know the cartoon which says “My guru has more enlightenment than yours”. That is about all. Therefore, Sir, humility is necessary. I know absolutely nothing and I am not going to repeat a word which I have myself not found. I really do not want to know. I know this is not the way. I do not want to know anything more. That is all. The door which I thought was real is not the door. What happens later? I do not move in that direction, I will find out.