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Dialogue 27 - Bombay - 15th February 1971 - ‘Intelligence and the instrument’
Questioner P: I wanted to ask you Krishnaji, if there is one question which needs to be asked by the individual, which would open the door to reality. Can all questions be reduced to the one question?
F: Is there such a thing as a door? We cannot ask a question about that, for which there can be no metaphor.
Krishnamurti: I think she asks, in the sense of a door, an opening, a breakthrough.
F: From your own experience what would you say is breaking-through? There is no point of reference.
Krishnamurti: What is the question?
P: There are many things which we have discussed during the last few days. Can all these questions converge into one question?
Krishnamurti: I think so.
F: I would not put it that way. I come to you because in you there is an imponderable quality, a tiny seed of something which makes you entirely different. I do not look for differences in manifestation, but there is in you a tiny little touch of something, that “elseness” of yours – now is there a key to that? Is there a question which opens that up?
B: If I may ask, what is it that prevents one from seeing? The difficulty is with us. Last evening when we heard Krishnaji’s talk we felt that there was nothing which we would not be prepared to do, if it was in us to do it. Can all that you say be held in one question? To you it is a very simple thing. You have an amazing capacity of converting diversity into a single thing. This convergence has not taken place in us. Could there be some action which would make all questions melt into one question?
P: I would further ask, if it were not possible to simplify all questions into one question, is there an instrument and what is that instrument which will make this possible? There is one interesting fact that I have observed in what Krishnaji has been saying in the last few days, and that is, he does not say thought is totally unnecessary. He says thought has a place and thought has no place. There is a region where thought is necessary and there is a region where thought has no function. The mechanism which makes it possible for thought to operate only where it should and not where it should not, without any evaluation, with- out the operation of will, without a doer, without a director, without a trick; that instrument, that mechanism is the essential thing.
How does it happen that thought arises only where it legitimately should function and does not impinge into areas where it should not function, because there thought has investment in illusion?
Krishnamurti: Now what is the question?
P: What is the instrument? How does this happen? We have examined our minds with a microscope. Now we ask under whose command do the brain cells function? What happens to them if there is no one to direct, to command?
Krishnamurti: I thought “K” explained yesterday that it is intelligence.
D: It is the same thing. Intelligence means instrument.
Krishnamurti: Let us keep to the word “intelligence”.
D: How does it happen? Intelligence functions in different dimensions. The artist, the philosopher use intelligence, but that is not intelligence.
Krishnamurti: Intelligence is that quality of mind which can use knowledge, all the vast field of knowledge, but not use knowledge in another field.
F: The difference that exists between me and you, is it in the degree of intelligence or is there another factor operating in you?
Krishnamurti: “P” asked a question, which is, what is the essential demand in life? And she goes on further to ask whether thought can operate sanely, efficiently in the whole field of knowledge where it is necessary and not operate in another field where it brings chaos, misery? Now what is the thing that can prevent thought from operating so that it does not create misery?
Can we tackle this question differently? Can the mind, the totality of the mind, empty itself of everything, of knowledge and non-knowledge; the knowledge of science and language and also the mechanism of thought that functions all the time? Can the mind empty itself of all that? I do not know if I am making myself clear. Can the mind empty itself not only at the conscious level but at the deeper secret chambers of the mind? From that emptiness can knowledge operate and not operate?
B: The question then would be emptiness?
Krishnamurti: Let us see. Can the mind empty the whole content of itself as the past, so that it has no motive? Can it empty itself and can that emptiness use knowledge, pick it up, use it and drop it, but always remain empty?
Emptiness in the sense of the mind being nothing; emptiness which has its own movement, which is not measurable in terms of time. A movement which is in emptiness, which is not the movement of time, that movement can operate in the field of knowledge and there is no other operation. That movement can only operate in the field of knowledge and nowhere else.
P: Are they two movements?
Krishnamurti: That is why I said that movement can operate only in knowledge; it has no two movements. Please follow. I am just investigating. You are asking a question, which is, that from what you have observed in your talks here, “K” has divided knowledge and freedom from knowledge.
Knowledge operating in the field of science in which there must be a certain will, a certain direction, an operative function, a design; and knowledge not operating where there is no place for thought and therefore of will.
B: You mean not even thought which is more than will?
Krishnamurti: Of course. Let us get the question clear. I am a little bit doubtful of the question.
F: It seems sometimes we operate deliberately and sometimes non-deliberately. I can see I do something of which I know nothing, and yet I operate. So there are these two operations: mental and non-mental. The movement of the two are not separate.
Krishnamurti: Watch your own mind, “F”. You see thought operating always within the field of knowledge. The knowledge brings pain and that knowledge helps man to live more comfortably environmentally. Right? – and that thought also brings misery, confusion. That is a fact.
F: I object to the “always”.
Krishnamurti: Wait. Then you and I ask, is thought necessary? Why does it create misery? Is it possible for thought not to create misery? That is all. Keep it as simple as this.
F: My answer to that is the roots of misery are not known to me. The promptings which create misery, I do not know.
Krishnamurti: We began with the superficial layers. Now we will go into the secret chambers of the mind.
P: Surely we are not positing a state of consciousness where thought will operate at the technological level and at the day-to-day level of action where necessary, and if by some kind of trick, electric shock, all other consciousness as thought were to be wiped away, it would be enough? We are not postulating that surely.
Krishnamurti: Of course not.
P: But look Sir, the moment you speak of a place where thought can operate legitimately and a place where thought has no legitimate place you are postulating the other – a state which is non-thought. If consciousness is only content, then what is the other?
D: I can go into a state of constant euphoria. Is that enough? This can happen through lobotomy.
Krishnamurti: Then you become a vegetable.
D: Then if that is not so, what else is there in consciousness?
F: When you said that thought is consciousness, it is there that I put a question mark? Is thought the entirety of consciousness? Can we say that consciousness is nothing beyond thought? I would question this.
Krishnamurti: So we have to go into the question of consciousness.
B: We are going back. You used the word “intelligence” in a different way. That word is the key, if we know what it is.
P: But this also a very valid question-if content is thought, if all consciousness is content and it is legitimate for thought to function in the field of technology, and all impinging of thought in the psychological direction is pain, then cutting thought away, will it solve the problem?
P: Then what is the “other”?
F: Intelligence is different from consciousness. We must distinguish between the two. Intelligence is much vaster than consciousness. We can have unconscious intelligence.
P: What is consciousness?
Krishnamurti: What is consciousness? There is a waking consciousness, there is hidden consciousness; consciousness of certain parts of me, of the superficial mind, and a lack of total awareness of the deeper layers of consciousness.
P: I would say, Krishnaji, that there is a consciousness in which thought operates, then there is a consciousness where attention is and where there is seeing; and a consciousness which is unconscious of thought. I see these three states as they operate in me.
Krishnamurti: Three states which are the memory, -
P: Being awake when thought is not, -
Krishnamurti: Wait, wait. The memory, the operation of memory as thought, as action; then attention, a state of attention where there is no thinker.
P: And a state of being asleep when you are not aware of thought nor of attention.
Krishnamurti: So you are saying there is the operation of thought, memory, having been and will be. Then there is a state of attention and there is a state in which there is neither attention nor thought, but a sense of being half asleep.
P: Half awake, half asleep.
Krishnamurti: All this is what you would call consciousness. Right?
P: In all these states whether consciously or unconsciously, sensory perceptions are in operation.
F: Do not bring in the unconscious. Do not call the unconscious a form of consciousness.
D: I wanted to ask whether we cannot include dreams also into it; that is the unconscious part.
F: Dreams are dreams because they become conscious.
P: The state in which one spends a large part of the day, one goes out, images come and go; that is still consciousness.
F: This is a patchy thing. The point is consciousness is not a continuous phenomenon.
Krishnamurti: Can we start this way? I am just being tentative – there is consciousness, wide or narrow, deep or shallow. As long as there is a centre which is conscious of itself, that centre may expand or contract. That centre says I am aware or not aware. That centre can attempt to go beyond the limitations which it has placed around itself. That centre has its deep roots in the cave and super- ficially operates. All that is consciousness. In all that there must be a centre.
P: May I ask you a question? Let us be very careful. Would you say there is no operation of consciousness in you?
Krishnamurti: We will come to that presently. That is not the point.
A: I wanted to ask whether there is such a thing as the matrix in which there is not even a centre, because it is out of that the centre is formed?
A: Matrix is thought; the matrix of temporality.
P: Consciousness is that which registers. It is the only thing which distinguishes life from a state of death. As long as there is registering there is no death.
Krishnamurti: Are we speculating? Look, let us begin very simply. When are you actually conscious?
P: When I am awake, when I am aware.
Krishnamurti: I would begin very simply. When am I conscious?
P: I am conscious of this discussion.
Krishnamurti: Let us keep it simple. When am I conscious? Either through sensory reaction, through a sensory shock, a sensory resistance, a sensory danger, a conflict in which there is pain-pleasure. It is only in those moments that I say I am conscious. I am aware of that lamp, the design; I perceive that there is a reaction and I say it is ugly or beautiful. Is not that the basis of all this? I do not want to speculate. I ask myself “when am I conscious?” When I am challenged, when there is an impact, conflict, pain, pleasure, then I am conscious.
D: But there may be no focus at all.
Krishnamurti: Wait Sir. I want to start here; otherwise we get lost in theory. This whole phenomenon is going on, whether there is a deliberate awareness or not, this thing is operating all the time. That is what we call consciousness.
F: The response to impact.
P: You mean there is no photographic consciousness. I see a dust-bin....
Krishnamurti: But you are seeing it. The mind is registering it. That is, the brain cells are receiving all these impacts.
F: And in that is there no classification as pain, pleasure?
Krishnamurti: Impact as pleasure, pain, conflict, sorrow, conscious, or unconscious, is going on all the time and there may be an awareness of all that at one moment, and at other moments there may not be. But it is going on all the time. So what is the next question?
P: This process itself is consciousness and the centre that observes is also part of consciousness.
Krishnamurti: What is the next question?
B: What is the nature of the unconscious?
Krishnamurti: It is still the same. Only it is the deeper layer.
B: Why are we unconscious of the deeper layer?
Krishnamurti: Because superficially we are very active all the time.
B: So the density of the superficial layer prevents our being conscious of the deeper layers.
Krishnamurti: I am making noises on the surface. It is like swimming on the surface. So what is my next question?
B: Is it possible to integrate the various layers?
P: What is the relationship of thought to consciousness?
Krishnamurti: I do not understand this question because thought is consciousness.
P: Is there anything else but thought?
Krishnamurti: Why do you put that question?
P: Because we started with the question that I observed you speak of a region where thought has a legitimate place and a region where thought has no legitimate place – and yet you say thought is consciousness.
Krishnamurti: Slowly. Let us stop here. The first question was, is thought part of this whole thing? What is its relationship to consciousness? Consciousness is thought – pain, conflict, registration, memory, remembrance. When the superficial consciousness is making a lot of noise, you come and ask what is the relationship between thought and all that? Thought is all that.
P: You have said something just now – thought is part of all that. Then what is the rest?
A. All this is consciousness. Thought comes into operation when the “I” wants to localize.
Krishnamurti: That is right.
F: When the brain is cut off then there is no thought.
Krishnamurti: Which is the memory squeezed, held and paralysed. All that we have described, memory, everything, is consciousness. Now thought comes into operation when I am interested in a part of this. The scientist is interested in the material phenomena, the psychologist in his area, because he has limited the field of investigation. Then thought comes as a systematizer.
F. Is thought the non-self-consciousness?
Krishnamurti: When “P” asks what is the relationship between thought and consciousness, I think that is a wrong question.
Krishnamurti: There is no relationship between the two because there are no two. Thought is not something separate from all this.
P: Is thought part of it or is thought all?
Krishnamurti. Go slow. I do not want to say something which is untrue.
F: Thought is co-extensive with consciousness. Let us not sub-divide.
Krishnamurti: “P” asks “F”, a very simple question. What is the relationship between thought and all this?
F: Which is the “other”. She has no business to speak of the two as separate.
P: I won’t accept this so easily because in everything “K” says the “other is posited. Thought has a legitimate place in the field of technology and it has no legitimate place in the other field and if you were to perform an operation and wipe out thought, it is not enough. Therefore the “other” is posited.
A: What I am trying to say is, is there in consciousness space which is not covered by thought?
P: Quite right.
Krishnamurti: I am not at all sure. I do not say you are not right. So go on.
A: I say there is space in consciousness which is not thought and that is part of the human heritage. It is there.
Krishnamurti: I do not think in consciousness there is any space.
P: I want to put another question to you. When I perceive you and listen to the whole thing operating, there is no movement of thought, but I am totally conscious. I cannot say -
Krishnamurti: Why do you call that consciousness? Wait, go slow. “A” says there is space in consciousness. We have to answer that question.
P: Whenever you make a statement like that, you immediately come to this that wherever there is space there is a boundary.
A: I may be using the wrong word.
Krishnamurti: You have used the right word. But we do not see that space cannot be contained in a frontier, in a boundary, in a circle.
A: It is not space, if it is held within a circle, a square, a rectangle. In one sense, of course, it is space.
Krishnamurti: Where there is a border there is no space.
D: According to the scientists, time and space are bound together.
Krishnamurti: But when we say consciousness has space, then consciousness has time. Do not call that space. Space exists only when there is time. Time is limitation. Space in the sense in which we use the word does not exist in consciousness. That space is something else. Leave that for the moment. Now what is the next question?
P: If we can take it from this point, I ask what is the relationship of thought to consciousness. Is thought contained in consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Do not use the word relationship. That means the two; thought means all that. Thought is consciousness. Do not put it in any other way.
P: Yes. Thought is consciousness, listening is consciousness, learning is consciousness. If thought is consciousness, is thought not related to seeing as consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Put the question this way. Is there a state of mind when there is no learning at all? You see the question?
P: You have left us far behind now.
F: There are fields in which we operate without consciousness. Most of our relationships are beyond the reach of consciousness. I operate unconsciously.
Krishnamurti: I want to go slowly, please. Thought is consciousness, listening is consciousness and learning is consciousness. Listening, seeing, learning, hearing, is part of all this, and memorizing and reacting to that memory is part of all this.
P: When any one of these is operating, there is no other. What you then say is understandable. Then there is no duality. Now we take the next step. When each of these operates, it is consciousness.
Krishnamurti: And it is not a dualistic consciousness.
P: Is it the part operating?
Krishnamurti: I would not use the word part. It is the focalizing of consciousness. It is not the whole of consciousness. Look, I say a few words in French or Italian; at that moment there is just that.
P: What about the English?
Krishnamurti: It is still there.
When thought is operating in that specific field, there is no duality. When thought compares that particular operation to another then there is duality. Right? I say how marvellous that lamp is. It is finished. But when thought says I wish I had it in my room, then there is duality. See what has been found, when there is the simple functioning of thought without any motive, there is no duality.
P: This again is very difficult – thought is motive.
Krishnamurti: No. What is thought? I have a memory of that sunset – I see that sunset. It is recorded at that moment, it is finished. But thought comes along and says....
P: I am saying thought is motive, not the registration, because thought is word, word is loaded, word is meaning.
Krishnamurti: There is memory of that sunset, then thought says, I wish it would happen again. In that, motive operates.
D: Yes Sir. When you look at that sunset, motive is irrelevant.
P: Sunset is an impersonal thing, let us not take that. I am jealous. There is a movement of jealousy as thought. You see Krishnaji, this is in some subtle way connected with the problem of containing – space – time -
Krishnamurti: “P”, you just now said jealousy. Jealousy is the factor of duality – that is, my wife looks at another man, and I feel jealous because I possess her, she is mine. But if I observe, if I am aware that she is not mine from the beginning, then the factor of jealousy does not enter. She is a free human being as I am a free human being. I allow her freedom.
P: I understand that. But we are talking about the structure of thought. Thought arises in consciousness. In itself there is no duality.
Krishnamurti: There is duality only when there is the operation of motive, measurement, comparison. In the observation of a lovely sunset, in seeing the light, the shadow, there is no duality. The word “beautiful” may be dualistic in terms of the ugly, but I am using the word without comparison. The moment I say I wish I had it again, begins the dualistic process. That is all.
P: We have somehow moved away.
Krishnamurti: I will come back, which is, consciousness is perception, hearing, seeing, listening, learning and the memory of all that and the responding according to that memory. All that is consciousness, whether or not focalized. In that consciousness is time; time which creates space because it is enclosed. Let us stop there. In that there is duality, non-duality, the conflicts – I must, I must not – the whole of that field is consciousness. All that is consciousness. And in that there is no space at all because it has boundaries, frontiers, which are limitations.
A: There is another factor which I would like to have included. There are the perceptions of various peoples of the world – of the African Continent, of the Latin American Continent; there is some kind of movement constantly going on; there are the findings of the physicists, the biologists – the perceptions and experiences of the world are siphoning into my consciousness. How can we ignore all that? If we only take the “I” and see the source of it, it is not enough: What is this process by which that thing is siphoning into me? The movement of the “I” as thought is something that is constantly being fed and renewed by that. Unless I see this process, I do not understand.
Krishnamurti: We said, Sir, the whole of this field of consciousness is the movement of contraction and expansion, a movement of information, knowledge, registration of knowledge, motivation, change, the political theme, what is going on in the Middle East, all that is happening in the environment, is part of me: I am the environment and the environment is the me. In that whole field there is the movement of the me. I like the Arabs and I do not like the Jews – within this consciousness, this comes up -
A: I question that. I say when I see all that, I am not even taking sides because there are the African tribes liberated and then caught up in militarism and all that.
Krishnamurti: See what happens. Colonialism, freedom from colonialism, the tribe, then the identification with the tribe as the me who belongs to the tribe.
A: In this wide canvas we see thought is siphoning into this focus which we call consciousness.
Krishnamurti: All that is consciousness. Consciousness creates the mischief by saying, “I like”, “I do not like”. I see that, I am a witness to this “I like” and “I do not like” also, because that is part of this movement over which I have no control at all.
A: I would say that may be so. But that is not the problem. The problem is the identification which gives this weightage to the “I like” and “I don’t like”, that it builds around it.
Krishnamurti: Here I am born in India, with all the environment, all the superstitions, the riches and poverty, the sky, the hills, the economic, the social, the whole of that is me.
A: Something more.
Krishnamurti: Include the more.
A: The more is the entire historical and the pre-historical past. If you include all that, then choice disappears.
Krishnamurti: Wait, Sir, I am all that, the past and the present and the projected future; I am born in India with all the culture of 5000 years. That is all my point. That is what I call consciousness.
A: It is wider; it includes America, the whole world -
Krishnamurti: But choice arises when you say you are a Hindu and I am a Muslim; when there is focalization through identification, there is then choice.
P: Let us come back to what we were saying. All this is consciousness and the other is also a fact that when thought operates, thought is consciousness, listening, seeing is consciousness, and I ask the question “what is the relation between thought and consciousness?”
Krishnamurti: It is a wrong question.
P: All right. We say consciousness is thought, seeing is consciousness, listening is consciousness, thought is consciousness.
Krishnamurti: All the heritage which “A” brought in is also consciousness, past, ancient, present and all that.
P: You have been stating that it is legitimate for thought to operate in fields where knowledge is necessary and when it operates in other fields then it brings sorrow, pain, duality. The question is: Does the other state which you are talking about, is it also consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Let us examine that. Stick to that question. What do you say? P: I say it is consciousness because seeing is consciousness.
Krishnamurti: Seeing that light is consciousness.
P: That is the first question.
Krishnamurti: Stick to that question for the moment. Thought has a legitimate field of operation and if it impinges into other fields then it brings pain, suffering. That which operates in this area, is it still consciousness – consciousness as we know it with all the things we have put into it? The other is not.
P: The other is not what?
Krishnamurti: It is not thought.
P: But is it consciousness? I will open it out a little more. The sensory perceptions operate. Seeing, listening operates, therefore why do you say it is not consciousness?
Krishnamurti: I am saying consciousness in the sense that there is no conflict.
P: There is no conflict in consciousness. There is only conflict when consciousness operates as thought in the field where it has no legitimate place. Why should there be conflict in consciousness when thought is not operating?
Krishnamurti: There is no conflict at all there. Let us go slowly.
P: Then what is it that operates there?
Krishnamurti: Is intelligence consciousness? Intelligence is not consciousness.
P: Now we are just listening. Now we come to a stage where we just listen.
Krishnamurti: My mind has followed all this. It has seen as “A” pointed out, the whole content of consciousness as the past Indian tradition, the whole human heritage and that I am all that. Consciousness is all that. Heritage is consciousness. And that consciousness as we know it, is conflict. And my chief concern is to end that conflict, conflict being sorrow, pain. In examining that, there is a discovery that it is all a process of thought. There is pain and pleasure and from that the mind says it must operate in the field of knowledge and not here. Legitimately it operates in one, but not here. What has happened to my mind? It has become pliable, soft, alive. It sees, it hears. It does not have the quality of conflict in it, and that is intelligence. And that is not consciousness.
Intelligence is not heritage whereas consciousness is heritage.
Do not translate intelligence as God.
Now that intelligence can use knowledge, that intelligence can use thought to operate in the field of knowledge and therefore its operation is never dualistic.
D: The language of intelligence must be different from the language of thought.
Krishnamurti: Intelligence has no language, but it can use language. The moment it has language it is back again in the field. That intelligence having no language is not personal. It is not mine or yours.
P: It may not be personal but is it focalized?
Krishnamurti: No, it appears to focalize.
P: When it moves, does it focalize?
Krishnamurti: Of course, it must, but it is never in focalization.
P: It is never held?
Krishnamurti: It is like holding the sea in the fist: it is part of the sea, but it is not the sea.