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Dialogue 26 - Bombay - 11th February 1971 - ‘Energy, entropy and life’
Questioner D: The other day we discussed God. We also discussed energy and you spoke of human energy and cosmic energy. I will state the scientific position. Scientists have measured energy and have arrived at an equation: E=Mc2, a fantastic figure. This is material energy and biologists have also proved that life-energy is anti-entropic, which means that while material energy dissipates itself, life energy does not. So this movement of anti-entropy is against the material flow of energy which dissipates and ends in dead uniformity. The human being generally moves with entropic energy and, therefore, decays. Scientists have measured even the time span of this energy. The problem is therefore: How can man, being aware of this, be part of the movement of energy that is anti-entropic?
Krishnamurti: One can see quite simply, that that which is mechanical wears itself out, given a certain time.
D: What is measurable can be manipulated by the mind, by man and that is the why of the atom bomb. This energy, this movement of entropy, dominates the world today. How do we get out of its grip?
P: This is a very important point. If there is a movement of energy which does not dissipate itself, which does not end, decay, then from the point of view of the scientist as well as man, it is probably the answer to all the problems of the world.
Krishnamurti: So what are you asking? How is man who is caught in the movement of this mechanical decay – it may take a million years or ten million years – how can that decay be put to an end? Or is there a contrary movement?
D: And the nature of that contrary movement?
Krishnamurti: Let us put that question again simply. Man is caught in material energy, in mechanical energy; he is caught by technology, by the movement of thought – you get the key to it?
Krishnamurti: There is the whole field of technological knowledge and the movement in that knowledge; that is the field in which man lives, which has tremendous influence on him, which is really taking him over, absorbing him; the scientists and the biologists have all measured the energy of that movement and that energy is an energy of decay, an energy of waste. Scientists also say
that there is a contrary movement of energy in the opposite direction which is creative energy; the real human energy which is non-mechanical, non-technological. Now, what is the question?
D: The modern biologists – Huxley, Chardin – say the species has developed up to man from the smallest cell and in man there is an emergence of consciousness; man as an entity can be conscious of the whole evolutionary process.
P: From this another very interesting fact emerges. Chardin says that the next leap forward will come by “a process of seeing” which is the same as the traditional pashyanti. I think it is important to explore this verb which has such a loaded traditional meaning in India.
Krishnamurti: We will come to that if we can examine the decaying processes; the energy which is mechanical, which is entropic. We are also trying to find that life-energy, which is non-mechanical energy. What is this energy?
D: Biologists say it lies in cultural development, in the destiny of man, not in a new species emerging.
A: This question faces modern man at many levels. After the satellites went up, there was a new measurement of the cosmos. We call that the measurable infinite. But man also knows there is the immeasurable infinite. It comes to modern man the moment he gets out of the immediate and gets to an understanding of the environment in the widest sense.
Krishnamurti: Quite. They have measured thought. They have measured memory.
D: If you flow with material energy you are doomed. It is only inviting the entropic movement.
F: You said something – that they have measured thought. Do you think thought is measurable ?
F: In what sense do you mean this?
Krishnamurti: In the sense that the electrical impulses of thought are measured.
F: Thought is the measure of entropy.
P: Only that which has a beginning and an end can be measured.
Krishnamurti: So there is a movement which ultimately, in its very motion, leads to decay.
F: It also leads to radiance and that is the end of entropy. There are those two movements – there is a mechanical movement and an anti-mechanical movement.
A: The biologist’s approach is very tentative when he comes to consciousness. Whenever he speaks of life-energy, he does not speak with the same precision as the other. There is a recognition that the anti-entropic is the unknown, the un-definable. After having said that there is “the other”, “the other” is still unknown.
D: One fact is certain. That the life-energy does not move in the direction in which the entropic energy moves.
A: Let us take the movement of life-energy as something unknown to us
We cannot manipulate it. In the measure that man becomes conscious of the entire evolutionary process in himself, he becomes aware of consciousness.
P: I think we are going round in circles. The observable thing is, man is born, lives and dies. The phenomenon of a cyclic movement of beginning and ending of energy is visible and deeply structured in our consciousness – the thing emerging and disappearing, the two manifestations of energy. Is there energy which is not concerned with emerging or disappearing?
Krishnamurti: It is the same thing. Do we accept this that there is a beginning and ending of energy?
F: Individuals may begin and end, but life does not. It creates.
Krishnamurti: Do not bring in the individual yet. There is a movement of energy which is mechanical, which is measurable, which may end, and there is life-energy which you cannot manipulate; it goes on infinitely. We see that in one case there is wastage of energy and in the other there is non-wastage of energy.
F: I do not see the other as a fact.
Krishnamurti: All right. Let us see the movement of energy which can reach a height and decline. Is there any other form of energy which can never end, which is not related to the energy which begins, continues and withers away?
F: That is a legitimate question.
D: Is there any form of energy that will not decay?
Krishnamurti: Now how are we going to find out? I have got it. What is energy that decays?
F: What is the cause of energy you cannot answer.
Krishnamurti: What is energy that decays? I did not say what is the cause of energy.
P: Material energy decays. Why does it decay? By friction?
D: By pressure?
Krishnamurti: Is there any other form of energy which does not decay? One decays through friction. Is there any other form which does not decay?
P: Not only does it decay but it is friction. I am positing it. Let us investigate. Its very nature is friction.
F: No. I do not understand your method. The fact is that there is energy overcoming friction, and energy dissipating in friction.
P: You say there is an energy which decays in friction through friction. I say its very nature is friction. All that movement which we call energy, in itself is friction. Show me why it is not so?
F: What is friction?
P: Friction is contradiction, resistance.
F: Why should energy be identified with resistance?
P: We say the nature of this which we call energy is friction.
D: Energy is the capacity, biological capacity, to overcome resistance, but it dissipates itself in this process.
Krishnamurti: Like in a machine.
P: So it is manifest as friction.
Krishnamurti: So is there an energy which has no resistance at all, and therefore....
P: No. When you say that it does not touch resistance, it is not so. Life is full of resistance. How can you say this?
Krishnamurti: Let us go into this. Any energy that meets resistance wears itself out. A car going up the hill without enough power; the energy created by the machine will wear out. Is there an energy which can never wear out, whether you go uphill, downhill, parallel, vertical? Is there an energy which has no friction in itself? And if it meets resistance, it does not recognize resistance, it does not recognize friction.
There is another factor to it. Energy also comes into being through resistance, through manipulation.
P: The moment energy crystallizes......
Krishnamurti: Do not say that.
P: Why, Sir, the human organism is a crystallization.
Krishnamurti: The human organism is a field of energy, but do not use the word crystallization.
I am keeping it very simple. There is energy that meets resistance and wears itself out. In that whole field, there is the energy brought about through resistance, through conflict, through violence, through growth and decay, through the process of time. Now we are asking, is there any other energy which is not of time, which does not belong to this field?
A: Tradition calls it the timeless arrow.
F: You are asking whether there is energy which is irresistible?
Krishnamurti: No. I only know energy which is in the field of time. It may have a span of ten million years, but it is still in the field of time. That is all we human beings know. And as human beings we are enquiring if there is an energy which is not in the field of time?
F: Do you mean, it is energy that does not undergo any transformation?
Krishnamurti: Look. I know energy, the cause of energy, the ending of energy. I know energy as the overcoming of resistance, I know the energy of sorrow, the energy of conflict, of hope, of despair; they are within the field of time. And that is the whole of my consciousness. I am asking, is there an energy which is not time-bound, which is not within the field of time at all? Is there energy which may go through the field of time and yet not be touched by time? It is very interesting. Man must have asked this question for centuries upon centuries, and not being able to find an answer he said there was God and put God outside the field of time. (Pause)
But putting God outside the field of time is to invite God into the field of time. And therefore all that is part of consciousness. And that decays. It decays, if I may use that word, because it is of time, it is divisible. And my mind which is divisible, wanting to find a timeless energy, proceeds to formulate an energy which it calls God and worships that. All that is within the field of time.
So I ask, is there any other energy which is not of time? You understand?
Krishnamurti: How do I find out? I reject God, because God is within the field of time. I reject the super-self, the atman, the brahman, the soul, heaven, for they are all within the field of time.
Now I ask, is there energy which is timeless? Yes, Sir. There is. Shall we go into it?
D: Yes, Sir.
Krishnamurti: How do I find out? Consciousness must empty itself of its content. Must it not?
D: The question is, I am sitting on a chair, which is my condition of existence. I cannot throw away the chair.
Krishnamurti: You cannot throw away the chair, but you can throw away the content which time has created which one calls consciousness.
D: The question is, if time is consciousness then there has to be something else.
Krishnamurti: Wait. The content makes consciousness; otherwise there is no consciousness.
P: May I ask something. Is the total emptying of consciousness not the same as seeing the totality of consciousness?
Krishnamurti: It is. Agreed. I do not think I have made myself clear. There is the fact of totally emptying consciousness; there is another fact which is seeing with the totality, with all the content.
Seeing the field of time as a total state, seeing the whole field of time – now what does that seeing mean?
Is that seeing different from the field of time or has that seeing separated itself from the field of time and then thinks it is free and looks at the field of time which is what we call perception?
D: Right, Sir. This perception presupposes a perceiver.
Krishnamurti: We go back to the same thing. So the question arises what is total seeing? I see logically, verbally; I comprehend the whole consciousness of man, the whole of it. The whole of it is the content of it and the content of it has been accumulated through time, which is culture, religion, knowledge. Whether it expands or contracts, it is still within the field of time. When it expands, it includes God, not-God, nationalism or no-nationalism. It is the whole movement of consciousness within the field of time. It is time itself. What do you say “D”, consciousness is time?
D: I have no other instrument but consciousness.
Krishnamurti: I am aware of that. I see consciousness is time because the content of it is consciousness and the content has been accumulated through centuries upon centuries.
D: Consciousness is conflict, friction.
Krishnamurti: We know that. How can my mind look at this total field of time and not be of the field? That is the question. Otherwise, it cannot look. Total perception must be free of time. Is there a perception and seeing which is not of time? What do you say?
D: That is our question.
Krishnamurti: And if it is not of time, then perception is the life-movement. Perception itself is the life-movement.
D: Logically that would be so.
A: Can we say perception itself is the life-movement? I do not know anything about it.
Krishnamurti: Can my mind, which is of time, which is the content of consciousness – content is the accumulated impressions, the experience, the knowledge in time – can my mind being totally of time, disassociate itself from the total field? Or is there a perception which is not of time and therefore sees the totality?
P: What I would say is I just cannot posit the “other”. “A” is correct.
A: The moment I posit it, it becomes the God of the Upanishads. When you say it, I listen.
Krishnamurti: I have not yet said anything.
A: All I can say is that seeing that all consciousness is within the field of time, I can remain with it. I am “it”.
Krishnamurti: You are “it”. Somebody comes along and says that movement within the field of time is measurable and he asks is there a perception – he does not say there is or there is not – is there a perception which sees the totality of consciousness which is time?
Is there such a perception? That is a legitimate question.
P: May I say something? I see you. I see this room. I see the interiority of my consciousness. There is no more than that. I can see. It is a concrete thing. Seeing is concrete.
Krishnamurti: Are we wasting time?
P: We are not. We have to be concrete. This is seeing.
Krishnamurti: I understand “P”, Here I am sitting in this room. I see the content of the room and myself in it. Myself is the observer who is conscious of the room, the proportion of room, the space of the room, and I see this through the consciousness which is made up of time.
P: I have taken a step back. Because I am seeing not only the length and breadth of the room, I see X as separate from Y; I am seeing. All this is the content of this room.
Krishnamurti: That is right. The observer and the observed are within the field of time. That is all. When the observer invents something, that is still within the field of time. So any movement is within the field of time. That is all I know. That is a fact. But knowing that, somebody comes along and asks:
Is there a movement which is not of time? And that is a legitimate question.
P: I do not know.
Krishnamurti: You can put it to yourself. Therefore, it is legitimate, because the very putting of it is legitimate. It may be a wrong question.
P: Putting it makes it a fact, not legitimate.
D: But it is a question. Question implies something more than a fact.
Krishnamurti: Which means, can the mind – I am proceeding from the question – see the totality of itself? Have you understood my question? Can the mind see itself as the field of time – not as an observer seeing the field of time? Can the mind itself become totally aware so that it sees consciousness as time? It is fairly simple.
P: I do not see that. What is involved in seeing consciousness as time? We started with this. There is a seeing of this room, the interiority of the self, the not dividing the two, the outer and the inner; that is the totality of time. There is no other totality.
A: Seeing the transitoryness is the seeing.
P: Where is the transitoryness? That is a loaded word. I just see.
D: If you just see then you do not see. The mind is part of time.
F: It is so clear. She only sees a section of me.
P: You are accepting too easily what Krishnaji is saying.
Krishnamurti: I only know one thing: I am the totality of consciousness.
P: The totality of consciousness at this moment is the perceiving of the room and the interiority within me. That is all.
F: That is not all.
P: What else is there? A: The other is seeing me not only as a person but as a vast process.
D: When you say “I see”, is it a static movement you see or do you see movement as flux?
P: I see that. (Pointing) I see you talking the next minute. Where is flux in it?
A: Do you mean that the totality of what you perceive is in time?
P: I do not say that. I say where does time arise?
A: Is it seeing as static or as movement?
B: It will not do for us to conceptualize it.
P: When I am observing thought, I see it as flux. I see movement. I see thought as movement; I wake up to a thought having been, then again of thought having been, then again of thought having been. And I put these together and say there is movement. When Krishnaji says “perceive this room”, I perceive the room, the interiority; there is no perception of time. It is the active present.
Krishnamurti: What is it that you are trying to say, “P”?
P: Your statement of the perception of consciousness as a movement of time is not valid. If we do not get the concreteness of seeing, we move into the field of the conceptual.
Krishnamurti: What you are saying, are you not, is that you perceive when you enter the room, the proportion, the space, the colour, and you perceive consciousness with the same tactile feel?
P: Then “A” speaks and I perceive that. Then I connect the two, and thought brings in time. There is no time apart from the connection.
Krishnamurti: If there is perception, there is no time. I look and there is no time.
P: You asked a question, “Do you see consciousness as the whole content of time?” I questioned that statement – I want to examine it with a microscope.
Krishnamurti: My mind is the result of time – memory, experience, knowledge. My consciousness is within the field of time. How can I see that the whole content is within the field of time?
P: Because of memory, of thought.
Krishnamurti: How can I see that the whole content is within the field of time? Is it a conclusion which we have arrived at just now or is it an actual perception? Let us go slowly. We have said verbally that my mind, the brain, the whole of it is the result of time. Is that a conclusion, or do I see it as a fact and not as a conclusion? Right, Sirs?
P: How would you distinguish the two?
Krishnamurti: One is a formula, a conclusion, a statement, the other I am finding out.
P: I find it very difficult. You know what you are trying to do, Sir? Can there be a perception of an abstraction? The moment thought is not, “what is” is an abstraction.
Krishnamurti: Wait. You have drawn your conclusions. I have not come to any. When you say it is an abstraction, it is a conclusion.
P: I ask myself, when I say that consciousness is the product of time, is it a statement or is it something I can see?
Krishnamurti: Is it a statement with verbal meaning, which I accept, and therefore it becomes a conclusion, or is it an actual fact as this room, an actual fact that the whole of my brain, the whole of my consciousness is this enormous field of time? Is it as concrete as that?
P: How can it be as concrete as the other?
Krishnamurti: I will show it to you in a minute. I see a conclusion is not a fact, because thought has entered into it and heard this statement and accepts it and makes it a formula and remains with that formula. That is an abstraction. A formula is an abstraction created by thought and therefore it is the cause of conflict. It is the very nature of conflict. I see that very clearly. Now, is there a perception which is not of thought, of the total field of time as the mind? Formulas are the most deadly things. Formulas and concepts are products of thought and, therefore, are all within the field of time.
P: Why is it necessary to make this absolute statement at all? Why is it necessary to make an absolute, finite, statement?
Krishnamurti. I will show you in a minute. I am enquiring into the field of time. Time, we said, is consciousness. Time is the result of centuries upon centuries of experience. That is my consciousness, and the consciousness is made up of all the content. I hear you state that and thought picks it up and makes a formula of it. I see that the very formula is within the field of time, that very formula is the factor of friction. So I do not touch it. I have negated it. I am now asking myself; have I negated it? Or am I still thinking, feeling that I have negated it? Am I still trying to find a fact which is not within the field of time? (Pause)
I am finding something – when thought operates, it must operate within the field of time, it must come to a conclusion and conclusion is part of consciousness; that is all. I now ask myself, is there any movement of thought or am I pretending to myself that there is no movement of thought and only perception? When I come to this room, I see. There is no movement of thought. I just see. The moment thought comes in, it comes into the field of time. Now I am asking, is the mind deceiving itself by saying “I have no formula”, but is entrenched in formula; formula being thought, which is consciousness? Or is there a perception which has nothing whatsoever to do with thought? I only know that all consciousness is within the field of time and thought is consciousness.
Therefore, I am enquiring – I do not want to deceive myself, I do not want to pretend that I have got something which I have not got. I see whenever thought comes into being, it must create a formula, and the formula is within the field of time. The whole of consciousness is time. I hear you say this. Now is it a formula which I have accepted or is it a fact – the fact being there is a perception of the total movement of thought?
P: You see, Sir, these are words which you use – the total movement of thought – what is meant by those words? When you ask whether we have accepted it as a formula, I have neither accepted it as a formula nor is it a fact. It is neither of these.
Krishnamurti: But by listening, by examining, by investigating, you say this is so. It is not a question of accepting. Now, move a step further. Is that “it is so”, an acceptance of an idea, intellectual and therefore still within the field of time?
P: I will never answer that question to you or to myself.
Krishnamurti: I am asking it.
P: What do I answer?
Krishnamurti: You are not asking that question. You know nothing about it. I want to find out whether the mind that is the result of time, hearing that statement, does it accept it as a statement, as a formula, and therefore remains in time, or it sees the truth, it sees the fact. Then what takes place? It is a fact. Nothing more can be said when thought does not arise. I see the room, but the moment thought says it has proportion, colour, beauty, time enters – you follow? In the same way this whole field of time exists only when thought operates. Now am I pretending that this operation is a formula or is it a fact which is realizable, which we can be aware of? Or is thought completely absent, and only aware of time and nothing more? Then what takes place? I am aware of this room without any interference of time.
P: At this moment, this instant what are you aware of?
Krishnamurti: The mind which is the result of time, hearing what you are saying, that the whole of consciousness is time, accepts that as a formula and says, “yes”. the statement “yes” is the perception of a conclusion which is the operation of thought. Therefore, I see that there is still time operating in that sense.
So is there an operation of perception without thought? What takes place then?
P: What are you perceiving at this moment? (Pause)
Krishnamurti: (Makes a gesture brushing one hand over the other) Nothing. That is it. It is logically right.
A: When we come, when we hear, the next moment it has become a memory.
Krishnamurti: I am not concerned about you at all. Forgive me. I am not concerned whether you see or do not see. I said to you I am going to investigate. I am investigating. You are not investigating. You are merely remaining with the formula. I see this fact. Am I perceiving the formula with a formula, or perceiving without a movement of thought without a formula? Then “P” asks me, in that state what is there to perceive? Absolutely nothing, because it is not of time. That is the factor of life-energy.
F: The state which you are just now describing can be called entropy of thought, a state where no movement is possible any more.
Krishnamurti: You are not investigating.
F: It has not ended here. You are ending it.
P: I want to ask another question. You say that there is nothing. Is there movement?
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by movement, before I say yes or no?
P: From here to there.
Krishnamurti: Measurable, comparable. Measurable means movement. The movement, when it is measured, is within the field of time. Right? And you are asking me whether in that nothingness, there is movement? To you movement is measurable and if I say there is, you will then tell me it is measurable and therefore it is in time.
P: There is movement in nothingness.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? The movement of time is one thing and the movement of nothingness is not of time, therefore not measurable. But it has its own movement which you cannot possibly understand unless you leave the movement of time. And that is infinite and that movement is infinite.