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Dialogue 28 - Bombay - 16th February 1971 - ‘Right communication’
Questioner A: Sir, we have been listening to you with all the attention of which we are capable, with our minds and with all our analytical capacities. We have covered every inch of the ground and we no longer accept anything we do not understand. Between you and us there has been verbal communication and there has been communication beyond words. By ourselves we have not been able to penetrate the verbal barrier and reach that understanding which comes beyond words. When I sit by myself, I find that all communication with myself remains at the verbal level. I wonder whether we could take up for discussion the problem of communication.
Tradition has classified communication into four different states vaikhari, madhyama, pashyanti and para.
Vaikhari is verbal communication, apprehended through the auditory organ. It is subject to distortion of various kinds. It is dependent on sequence. Madhyama is apprehended through the internal organ (mind), not by an external sense-organ. In madhyama there is the sequence of the mentally conceived. In pashyanti there is no sequence, it does not have the attributes of priority or posteriority; perception and communication are undivided. In pashyanti there is a transcendence of association with the diverse objects of the world, and also of time and space; such a state is free of the distinctions of the cognizer and the cognized.
Para is the power of self-revelation of the Absolute, which power is not separable from it. Para is the channel, the true channel of communication.
P: “A” is right. In investigating what Krishnaji calls listening and seeing which are the operational part of his teachings, it might be possible to explore communication. I do not think we have gone into the question whether communication is a process or whether it is an instantaneous light.
Krishnamurti: Can we start with the verbal level and work it through?
P: The question involves not just communication between the speaker and oneself, but the very instrument with which we take in, with which we apprehend.
Krishnamurti: Shall we begin slowly with this? There is verbal communication in which both of us understand the meaning of the word. In that communication, the word is the meaning and the meaning can be understood by me and by you. That is verbal communication. Then communication also means listening, not only to the meaning of the word but the intention of the speaker in using the word. Otherwise communication breaks off. When we use the word, it must have a quality of directness in which there is no double meaning and it must also have the quality of the real urge to communicate something. In that urge there must be affection, care, consideration – the feeling that you must understand; not that I am superior and you are inferior. And in using the word, there must be the contact of intention conveyed in the quality of the voice. That means both of us at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity must understand the word; there must be contact of intention and then only is there real communication.
A: This is so. Our minds listening to you used to set up so many obstacles. All that is over. Now there are no barriers.
Krishnamurti: What is important in communication is not so much the word, although the word and meaning are necessary, but to meet each other at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity.
A: To communicate with oneself is also important. What does communication mean in that context?
Krishnamurti: Can one communicate with oneself?
A: Yes. It is a question of becoming coherent to oneself.
Krishnamurti: Communication is generally understood to be between two or more people.
A: But it need not even be two people. It can be between a person and a book. All this is implied when we say communication with oneself.
Krishnamurti: I do not think one can communicate with oneself.
A: Sir, in Sanskrit they use the word “swasamvada” for “self-communication”.
Krishnamurti: I question that.
Krishnamurti: When you use the word “self-communication” I do not think you communicate with yourself. You only observe what is going on. But the moment you use the word “communicate”, there is duality; duality in the sense there is the you and the book, you and the me.
A: You said that there must be a certain sense of rapport, even for observing. I wonder if there is anything in that.
F: The message is the most important part in communication.
Krishnamurti: No, I can say something, and if you are not in a state of rapport you will twist it. You will twist the message. So the important thing is not the message but why at certain levels certain messages seem to be communicated to some people and not to others?
D: Why is the message you want to communicate not received by the other?
Krishnamurti: We are talking of the quality of communication and not what you communicate. When that quality is not there, you cannot communicate.
A: There is communication of words, there is communication of meaning and there is communication that is beyond word and meaning.
F: The human race has developed certain instruments to take in messages through word and meaning, but they have no instruments to take in or to contact that which is beyond word and meaning. After all, the radio, television have special instruments to receive. Do we have special instruments to receive?
D: The problem of communication arises only when the message is distorted or incomplete.
Krishnamurti: It is also in the meaning. You tell me something and I twist it.
F: No. You tell me something, I listen to it with the instrument I have and then translate it according to the instrument I have. There is no question of twisting it. We find that reception of what you have to say remains at a lower wave length. There is no question of twisting. What you say just does not seem to penetrate. It has nothing to do with the message.
P: Either the instruments have not been tuned or they are not there. Krishnaji, you can say what you will, till the instruments are there, the message will not be received.
Krishnamurti: This is simple.
P: Is the question one of instruments being tuned right or of new instruments coming into being? That is the essential question.
Krishnamurti: “A” said when we began contacting each other, there was a certain resistance, a certain intellectual objection to what was said and now he says he has put all that aside and he listens. Why should there have been resistance in the beginning?
A: We met after a gap of nine to ten years. There was conditioning, – social, political, ideological; there was the effort to understand you in terms of that conditioning.
Krishnamurti: “P” asks is there a need for tuning the instrument?
P: Take a child and carefully keep it away from all conditioning; it will still react, because it is the instrument of heritage. The instruments I have, operate in a particular way. The instruments are themselves incapable of taking in, in any other way but the known way.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, what is the question? Is the question one of taking these very instruments, making them sharp, vulnerable, sensitive? Or is it a question of new instruments coming into being?
D: May I say these are the only available instruments we have – our eyes, our ears. They prevent us from understanding.
P: The history of man has perfected the instruments. They are trained to operate in one channel alone. Every sense-organ operates singly. When there is hearing there is no seeing. When there is seeing, there is no hearing. The operation of sensory perception is compartmental. I am asking you whether it is these same instruments that are to be used?
B: “A” referred to two things, a stage where there was resistance and a stage where there was no resistance, but the instruments were the same.
A: In the use of the instruments then, man has no choice. There might be an imperfect use of the instruments.
P: It may be either an imperfect use of the instrument or it may be that an entirely new instrument is necessary. Let us ask Krishnaji. Let us pose the question to him. Do you say it is the same instrument or do you say it is a new instrument? If I had received what was to be communicated, I would not question. I would not be sitting here, but the very fact that I have not received that which has to be communicated, means that the instruments I have, have failed.
A: My point is that there is a certain level of communication but when we come to translate it, then it remains at the verbal and meaning level.
P: In listening to Krishnaji, there are many things which have been communicated. The instruments can receive. I am certain, however, that the explosion, that which needs to take place, has not happened. In spite of the flexibility of consciousness, the capacity of receiving, the capacity of all the instruments operating together, the understanding of the problem of time; in spite of all these things, the explosion has not taken place.
A: Can we impersonalize it? Can we understand objectively the problem of communication?
P: Up to the pashyanti of yours, we understand; pashyanti is “seeing”.
A: Can we use the brain which is our instrument so that it does not create obstacles at any level?
Krishnamurti: What is the problem?
P: I am asking: you have seen us through a span of time. Do you think we are able to communicate with you?
Krishnamurti: Obviously up to a certain point.
P: What is the hitch at that point?
Krishnamurti: Obviously, all communication is up to a point. I cannot go into this unless we begin very simply. I want to understand what is the problem. Communication implies telling you something and you listening to me, and either agreeing or disagreeing. That is, you and I have a common problem and we discuss it and we can only discuss it if we both see the common problem in its entirety and if the meaning, the word, the description tallies between you and me and we say we have understood each other.
Then the next point is, I want to tell you something which you resist. I may be telling you something which is not accurate and you have a right to resist. Then I tell you something which is true, mathematically true, and you say it is not true because you have your own judgements, opinions. At that moment communication stops. I want to tell you something as two human beings, not I as the guru and you as the disciple. I want to tell you something, I will express it as well as I can in words, but I know that what I want to say to you is not the word, nor the meaning of the word. I want to tell you something which can partially be described and the rest of the meaning cannot be described.
You take the description and not the other. Therefore, there is no communication. You are satisfied with the explanation and say that is enough. I want to tell you something through the word, through the meaning, through the description. I want to tell you something which is not the word, which is not the meaning and I want to communicate to you that which is more than the description.
I want to tell you something which I feel very strongly, which I feel I must communicate with you. I describe but you refuse to enter into that and our communication comes to an end. Verbally we understand, but the “other” cannot be communicated.
A: There is no refusal on our part. There is only incapacity.
Krishnamurti: I question it. Listen to what I said. I use words which you understand. You listen to the meaning, the word, the description, the explanation. But all that does not cover the thing which I want to convey to you. At first you refused to go beyond. You refused in the sense that you did not know what was being talked about. You felt that what could not be put into words did not exist.
I am not concerned with the word and the description. I want to tell you something now. How do I communicate that which is not the word, that which is not the meaning, that which is not the description? And yet that is as real as the word, that has as much meaning as the word. Words explanations are not the thing. That is our problem. Now what takes place in me and you, let us discuss that.
I use the word, the word is common, the meaning is common, the description is within the framework of words, the words have space, they have a referent, a meaning. You accept that. You follow up to that point and you stop there. You all do this in various degrees. Why? Why do you stop there? (Pause.) I think I know.
A: In this relationship of communication, there has been a very clear understanding that you must never take in something which you do not comprehend. The mind has a capacity to manufacture beliefs, to take in what it would like to believe. I am trying to express the barrier my mind puts up. I say it will not do to take in anything that I do not understand.
Krishnamurti: Wait. You accept the word, the meaning, the description, the explanation, the analysis. You go as far as that. Now I tell you as two human beings that I want to tell you something else including the word and you do not move. I ask myself, “why”? Either you do not want consciously to understand what I want to say beyond the word, because the understanding might upset you; or you resist because your whole training, heritage, tells you: “Do not go near it, do not touch it.”
A: That is not so.
Krishnamurti: I am just questioning. This is generally what happens. You listen to the word, the meaning, and the description and the analysis and you stop there because you sense there is danger to your image. So the image comes in and says, “stop” and communication comes to an end.
A: I do not think so.
Krishnamurti: I am just being tentative.
P: What happens, Krishnaji, is that one can follow you, move with you, move within oneself to the point when thought stops, to a point where there is an ending of thought. At that point when thought ends, there is a total incapacity of moving in this new field.
Krishnamurti: I am coming to that “P”. Hold to your idea. I want to finish with this. I ask myself consciously or unconsciously “where is he leading me?”
Maybe my security is threatened, the breaking down of my image. Therefore,
I will not move: I say the description is good enough for me. I agree and stop: The image is important and so I am satisfied with verbal understanding.
F: That is not so:
A: In the concrete instances which we are discussing this is not true.
P: If you were to pose a question to me or I to myself, which implied that my image was to be destroyed, there would be resistance. Yet by observing, moving step by step, there is no necessity to pose that question: If you pose the question, it is disastrous.
Krishnamurti: I am opening up the problem.
P: If I pose that question everything rushes to protect the image, whereas if I move, observe step by step, then there is a fluidity that dissolves the image:
Krishnamurti: Dissolves only when you and I want to communicate about something which is not merely words. Right? Very few go beyond that point. Very few are willing to break their opinions, their conclusions, their images. In talking it over, I discover the image, you throw light on it, and I see. The very seeing is the ending of it. Then what happens – word, meaning, description, analysis, “seeing”, no image. Right? That is real communication. The difficulty is when we enter into something which is non-verbal. So can we communicate about something which is beyond the word?
What is the quality necessary for both of us to understand something which is not the word? Which means to look at it, not to lie caught in the description, in the explanation, in the meaning, in the word.
P: Look at what you have just done. You take us up to a point through analysis, thought, word. You sharpen intelligence, rarefy intelligence. You never proceed beyond that, so that there is nothing, no description you give with which I can fill this emptiness.
Krishnamurti: Listen. To communicate in the sense we are talking about, that is word, meaning, description, analysis and all that and something more, the mind must not be caught in the word, in the meaning, in the description, the analysis. It must not be caught. It must be moving, fluid, but you hold on to the word. The word, the meaning, the description, the analysis, is a process of thought, of memory. The word, cultivated, gathered through years, and the meaning which you and I have given it and the description through the word, all that is thought. Now you come along and tell me something which is not the word. And I think all the time in terms of thought. I move with thought Right? Communication is the word and communication is not the word. So meaning, the description and analysis and all that must be there and the mind must be so.... ( I do not know what word to use) so that you and I see the same thing at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity. Otherwise our communication is verbal.
P: Now comes the crucial point.
Krishnamurti: Go slow. We have carefully come to this.
P: Is that movement in space a question of my feeling the movement of space in you?
Krishnamurti: Please, simple words, simple words.
P: Is it a question of contacting the movement of emptiness which you are communicating?
Krishnamurti: Wait, wait. I am not communicating anything. I am only communicating “this”, not “that”. Therefore, there is no communication “there”. There is only communication “here”.
A: You are saying we have gone through word, meaning, description but all the time we are holding the hand of thought. “This” is something which cannot be held by thought.
Krishnamurti: Do look at what is taking place between you two, “A” and “P”. You have a meaning, you have the word, the description, the analysis. You have come to a conclusion and she has not come to a conclusion. Communication has stopped. The moment you come to a conclusion and the other man has no conclusion, communication is finished.
P: Krishnaji said that he communicates through words up to a point. Then he said in the beginning there is a communication for which no words can be found; how is that to be done? Again I am putting it into my own words. I say up to the point where the mind becomes fluid, rarefied, communication through words is possible because there is a referent. An instant after, I ask him whether the movement in that space has to contact or be contacted by the movement of Krishnaji in silence, or is it then not a problem of Krishnaji and me at all?
Krishnamurti: None at all. There are no two. What you have said is simple. Have you got it? (Pause)
Two things have taken place. The word, description, meaning, analysis and a conclusion; word, meaning, description, analysis, no conclusion. The man who has got a conclusion stops there and he cannot communicate with a man who has no conclusion. They cannot meet. You can go on discussing endlessly, but these two cannot meet.
Now we are asking, is there the “other”, and is the “other” communicable? Communicable implies two. When you have no conclusion and I have a conclusion, there is an ending of communication. Then there is a state of my having no conclusion and you having no conclusion; we both are moving and we both smell the flower. Right? What is there to communicate? We both are smelling the flower. (Pause)
F: Now I want to ask something. Is there such a thing as co-experience, co-state?
Krishnamurti: There is no such thing as co-experience when there is experiencing.
F: I am talking about communication. Communication implies two.
Krishnamurti: Up to a point.
Krishnamurti: When you and I are experiencing the sunset or sex, there is no two
F: The instruments are two.
Krishnamurti: Of course.
F: The perceiver is not there.
A: Are these valid questions with regard to what we have talked of just now?
Krishnamurti: About what?
A: No conclusion, and then moving together. Are there any valid questions in that?
Krishnamurti: But we have not gone beyond the fact of coming to a conclusion. Take a little more time in that. We are slurring over.
F: I see that there is also the threat to the image.
Krishnamurti: I am committed to a certain activity and what you are saying I am going to translate in terms of my activity. I say I have understood you, but I am going to translate what I have understood in terms of my activity. I am committed.
P: If there is a frontal attack on the image and you ask me, “Have you an image?” I would say, “Of course I have an image.” But it is a peripheral thing. There can be a stripping, a denudation, a breaking of the image without the confrontation with the image. You can strip, denude the image, but do not ask me a frontal question about the image.
Krishnamurti: I want to go a little more into this image-making.
P: Every movement of thought is adding to the image and every negation is a denudation of the image.
D: The motivations which have built the image consist in our sticking to a certain modus of operation and so long as the mind refuses to let go, we are preventing communication.
P: I think that approach is totally wrong. I say, if you are going to be caught in trying to be free of the image, you will never be free of it.
Krishnamurti: You are right, “P.
P: You said image and conclusion end communication, but you have to be confronted with this.
Krishnamurti: What is going on all the time consciously or unconsciously is that I am committed or I shall be committed or am being committed, therefore, communication is only up to a point and not beyond. This is what is happening all the time.
P: The image is built up of a lot of little things. The image is what it is. I have tried to tackle it for twenty-two years and now I say let me leave it alone. Let me move, let me see whether what is static can be freed. Then it will do what it will.
A: But these million years of the past, how am I going to tackle that?
F: Can two brains with different pasts, different histories, experience, feel the same thing at the same level? How is it possible?
Krishnamurti: The way you put the question is wrong.
P: I cannot break the image which has taken a million years to build. Can I break this instrument and make it flexible, moving? That is all.
A: There is one point which needs to be taken into account. There are certain accretions and they can be dropped as they are pointed out in communication. This kind of thing happens effortlessly.
P: All of us who have participated these thirty days, know, understand up to the point when thought ends. I am certain that what has to happen has to happen there.
Krishnamurti: Let us put the question, the same thing, in a different way. Is there a possibility of communication or experiencing that which is not verbal? The whole implication of experiencing is wrong.
P: Let me understand that. It is a very important statement; the whole of experiencing is wrong.
Krishnamurti: The conclusion or the idea that a state can be experienced by two is wrong. It can never be experienced.
A: That is right. Krishnamurti: You know what that means? It can never be experienced, what does it mean? Any man who says I have experienced has not experienced. Right, Sir? You see how extraordinarily subtle it is.
P: The “enough” of it. It also brings out the extent to which man is caught in “the more”.
Krishnamurti: When you and I are looking at the sunset, there is only the sunset. I believe it is the same with sex. It is the same with two people who are at the height of anger. There are no two people. They do not say we are experiencing anger.
F: What about the registering that goes on in the brain?
Krishnamurti: Which is what – the memory?
F: In the present the memory is not.
Krishnamurti: But it acts in the present.
F: The memory is not yet created.
Krishnamurti: Do not theorize. Watch. You and I see the sunset. When it is in front of us, both of us see it, both of us are silent because it is glorious. We do not stop all movement. All movement stops. There are no two people there.
F: Are there not two separate “I consciousnesses”?
Krishnamurti: Both of us experience that state of the sunset, with its fullness; you and I do not talk about experiencing at that minute.
P: I would like to ask one question of you now, Sir, because I feel it is important that your mind is also open to us. You took us through the state of the verbal. Your mind was registering and at one point the verbal ceased.
Krishnamurti: That means you and I were not forming any image.
P: Yes. At any moment of time, was there in you a registration of this?
Krishnamurti: I do not quite follow.
P: You moved in thought. You went through the whole process of communication through word, meaning, analysis. The point came of flexibility and the ending of the analysis. Before the next analysis started, there was a gap. Has the brain any registration at all in this gap?
P: There is no part of your brain cells which bears the impact of this gap?
Krishnamurti: I wonder what you are talking about. I said “no”.
D: Is that because you are always in the gap?
Krishnamurti: But what are you trying to say?
P: How do you know that there was no registration of the experiencing?
Krishnamurti: That is the next question. First there is seeing, and then the question which is, in experiencing anything, the most trifling thing to the greatest thing, is there no recording as thought, as memory?
Do you understand? There is the word, meaning, description, analysis. That is one necessary process. The unnecessary, irrelevant thing is conclusion. That is gone. Then we are asking, is experiencing of something which is non-verbal ever turned into thought, into description, analysis, meaning, word?
A: The reverse process.
Krishnamurti: See the subtlety of it. I started out with communication. Then there was an ending of thought. Then feel that. Then it comes through the reverse process. Now wait a minute, am I right? (Pause)
Now the next thing is, do the brain cells register that thing which then becomes memory which then says “I have experienced”? Do you follow? Does that seeing, perceiving, listening of something which is non-verbal, which cannot be experienced, does it register in the brain cells?
Krishnamurti: Of course not.
P: You are saying the other. I would ask, does seeing operate on the brain cells?
Krishnamurti: Therefore, it does not register on the brain cells. See what happens. It is curious. The brain is registering noise. it is registering impressions; everything is being registered. The brain is completely used to this. It accepts it, and that is a healthy, normal, rational state. Right? So it says, a strange phenomenon has happened. I have registered it. Of course I have experienced it because it has registered, memorized it and says yes, You see what happens?
A: I could not get it.
D: The moment it says that, it ceases to be.
Krishnamurti: Hold on a minute. Does any experience, not a specific experience, does any experience, except the survival experience register at all? I know I am asking the most absurd thing; I realize what I am asking.
You insult me or flatter me. It is registered. Why should it? The brain registers what is important. Why should it register when it is not important at all?
Why should the brain carry all the superficial impacts?
P: How can you ask why?
Krishnamurti: I am going to show it to you. You insult me. You flatter me. Why should I hold it? What is the point of it? Can you push it off and only hold, the brain cells only hold things which will help them to survive?
F: You have introduced the word “survival”
Krishnamurti: Why should I hold your insult or flattery? I am saying why
should it register? Because if I do, then there is the effort to cut it off; there is like and dislike.
F: How can I cut it off?
Krishnamurti: Freedom is the emptiness of all this, not the carrying of a burden of insults, regrets, happiness, fears, miseries.
A: May I ask you one question? Am I capable of living within the groove of not registering....
A: Living in the groove, it will register. There is nothing I can do to stop registering.
Krishnamurti: If you see this, there is a state of intelligence which refuses to register.
P: We went up to the point of analysis and to a state of fluidity – it is the operation of this on the brain cells and the operation of nothing else, and there also it is beyond my control. in both, they are beyond my control.
Krishnamurti: Agreed. The active present can help here, not there, not the past or the future; only the active present can help.
P: When there is attention, not only does it not register, but it wipes out.
Krishnamurti: That is good enough, if the brain cells realize that they need not carry all the burdens of everyday incidents – that is enough.