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Part III - Chapter 1 - Small Group Dialogue, Ojai, California - 22nd March 1977
Part III - Chapter 1 - Small Group Dialogue, Ojai, California - 22nd March 1977
Questioner(1): Can we discuss the relation between Krishnamurti's teaching and truth?
Questioner (2): Is there such a thing as a teaching at all, or is there only truth?
KRISHNAMURTI: Is it the expression of truth? There are two things involved. The speaker is either talking out of the silence of truth, or he is talking out of the noise of an illusion which he considers to be the truth.
Q: That is what most people do.
K: So which is it that he is doing?
Q: There could be a confusion between the word and truth.
K: No, the word is not the truth. That's why we said: either he is talking out of the silence of truth or out of the noise of illusion.
Q: But because one feels that he is speaking out of the silence of truth there is a greater possibility for the word to be taken as truth.
K: No, let's go slowly for this is interesting. Who is going to judge, who is going to see the truth of the matter? The listener, the reader? You who know Indian scriptures, Buddhism, The Upanishads, etc - you are familiar with them and know most of the contents of all that. Are you capable of judging? How shall we find out? You hear him talking about these things and you wonder if he is really speaking out of this extraordinary silence of truth, or as a reaction and from a conditioned childhood and so on. That is to say, either he is talking out of his conditioning or out of the other. How will you find out? How will you approach this problem?
Q: Is it possible for me to find out if what is meeting that teaching is the noise within myself?
K: That's why I am asking you. What is the criterion, the measure that you apply so you can say: "Yes, that is it." Or do you say: "I don't know"? I am asking what you do. Or don't you know but are examining, investigating; not whether he is speaking out of silence or conditioning, but you are watching the truth of what he is saying. I would want to know whether he was speaking out of this, or out of that. But as I don't know, I am going to listen to what he is saying and see if it is true.
Q: But what sees it as true?
K: Say one is fairly alive to things. One listens to this man and one wants to find out whether what he says is mere words or the truth.
Q: When I have come to the conclusion that it is the truth, then I am already not listening.
K: No, I don't know. My life is concerned with this problem - not just for a few years or a few days. I want to know the truth of this matter. Is he speaking out of experience or from knowledge, or not out of any of these things? Most people speak out of knowledge, so we are asking that question.
I don't know how you would find out. I'll tell you what I would do. I would put his personality, his influence, all that, completely aside. Because I don't want to be influenced, I am sceptical, doubtful, so I am very careful. I listen to him and I don't say "I know" or "I don't know", but I am sceptical. I want to find out.
Q: Sceptical means you are inclined to doubt it, which is already a bias...
K: Oh, no! I am sceptical in the sense that I don't accept everything that is being said.
P: But you lean towards doubting. It's negation.
K: Oh, no. I would rather use the word doubt, in the sense of questioning. Let's put it that way. I say to myse1f. Am I questioning out of my prejudice? This question has never been put to me before, I am exploring it. I would put everything aside - all the personal reputation, charm, looks, this and that - I am not going to accept or reject, I am going to listen to find out. Am I prejudiced? Am I listening to him with all the knowledge I have gathered about religion, of what the books have said, what other people have said, or what my own experience tells me?
Q: No. I may be listening to him precisely because I have rejected all that.
K: Have I rejected it? Or am I listening to him with all that? If I have rejected that then I am listening. Then I am listening very carefully to what he has to say.
Q: Or I am listening with everything that I already know of him? K: I have said: I have put away his reputation. Am I listening to him with the knowledge that I have acquired through books, through experience, and therefore I am comparing, judging evaluating? Then I can't find out whether what he is saying is the truth. But is it possible for me to put aside all that? I am passionately interested to find out. So for the time being - while I am listening at least - I will put aside everything I have known. Then I proceed. I want to know, but I am not going to be easily persuaded, pulled into something by argument, cleverness, logic. Now am I capable of listening to what he is saying with complete abandonment of the past? It comes to that. Are you? Then my relationship to him is entirely different. Then I am listening out of silence.
This is really a very interesting question. I have answered for myself. There are a dozen of us here, how would you answer it? How do you know that what he is talking about is the truth?
Q: I wouldn't be concerned with that word truth. When you use the word truth you indicate you have the ability to judge what is true, or you already have a definition of truth, or you know what truth is. Which means you will not be listening to what somebody is saying.
K: Don't you want to know whether he is speaking falsehood, out of a conditioned mind, from a rejection and therefore out of a reaction?
Q: (1): I realize that in order to listen to this man I can't listen with a conditioned mind - not to anybody.
Q (1): Another question which arises is: I reject all this knowledge and listen in silence. Is truth in that silence?
K: I don't know. That is one of the things I have got to find out.
Q (1): If there is no rejection there is no silence.
Q (2): As this well is an endless source, is the teaching the same as truth?
K: How would you answer this question? 32 Q: I think first of all you can be sensitive to what is false. In other words, to see if there is something false, something incoherent.
K: Logic can be very false.
Q(1): Yes, I don't mean just logic, but you can be sensitive to the whole communication to see if there is some deception. I think one of the questions implied here is: Are you deceiving yourself?
Q(2): But doesn't that sensitivity imply the absence of one's own projections - the silence after having moved through all your own colouring of it. Only then can you be that sensitive.
Q(3): You have to be free of deceiving yourself to see that.
K: Again, forgive me for asking: How do you know he is speaking the truth? Or is he deceiving himself and is caught in an illusion which gives him a feeling that he is telling the truth? What do you answer?
Q: One goes into it oneself. One cannot accept it without going deeply into it.
K: But one can deceive oneself so appallingly.
Q: You go through the layers of all those deceptions and beyond them.
K: If I were a stranger I might say: You have listened to this man for a long time, how do you know he is telling the truth? How do you know anything about it?
Q: I could say that I have looked at what you have said, and each time I was able to test it to see if it was right. I have not found anything which was contradictory.
K: No. The question was: How do you find out the truth? - Not about contradiction, logic, all that. One's own sensitivity, one's own investigation, one's own delving - is that enough?
Q(1): If one goes all the way, if one goes through all the possible self-deceptions.
Q(1): And then goes so far as to say that in the moments when one is listening - I do not know how deeply, but listening at all - one feels there is a change in oneself. It may not be a total revolution, but there is a change.
K: That can happen when you go for a walk and look at the mountains and are quiet, and when you come back to your home certain things have taken place. You follow what I am saying?
Q(2): We listen to people who speak from knowledge, and we listen to you, and there is something totally different. The non-verbal...
K: Have you answered the question?
Q(1): To myself I have. I have listened to scores of people and I listen to K. I don't know what it is, but it is totally different.
Q(2): That means there is a ring of truth in it.
Q(3): There are people who imply that in some way you are deceiving yourself. They do not see it that way.
Q(4): There was a man who wrote to me and asked if I agreed with everything Krishnamurti said. "Didn't he tell you that you should doubt everything he said?" The only way I could answer was to say: "Look, to me it is self evident."
K: It may be self evident to you and yet an illusion. It is such a dangerous, delicate thing.
Q(1): It can be that there is a scale on which we weigh it.
Q(2): I think that for thought it is not at all possible to be sure about this matter. It is typical of thought that it wants to be sure that it is not deceiving itself, that it is listening to truth. Thought will never give up that question, and it is right for thought never to give up questioning, but thought cannot touch it, cannot know about it.
K: Dr Bohm and I had a discussion of this kind in a different way. If I remember rightly we said: Is there such a silence which is not the word, which is not imagined or induced? Is there such a silence, and is it possible to speak out of that silence?
Q: The question was whether the words are coming from perception, from the silence, or from the memory.
Q: The question is whether the words that are used are communicating directly and are coming out of the emptiness, out of the silence, or not.
K: That is the real question.
Q: As we used to say: like the drum which vibrates to the emptiness within.
K: Yes. Are you satisfied by this answer? - by what the others have said?
Q: No, Krishnaji.
K: Then how do you find out?
Q: The very words you are using deny the possibility of being satisfied and to work at it intellectually. It is something that has nothing to do with those things.
K: Look, suppose I love you and trust you. Because I trust you and you trust me whatever you say won't be a lie and I know you won't deceive me under any circumstances, you won't tell me something which is not actual to you.
Q: I might do something out of ignorance.
K: But say you trust me and I trust you. There is a relationship of trust, confidence, affection, love; like a man and a woman when they are married, they trust each other. Now is that possible here? Because - as she points out - I can deceive myself with logic, with reason, with all these things: millions of people have done it. I can also see the danger of, "I love the priest; and he can play havoc with me.
Q(1): If one has affection for someone, one projects all kinds of illusions on to him.
Q(2): I think the trust, the investigation, logic and all that goes together with love.
K: That is a very dangerous thing too.
Q(1): Of course it is.
Q(2): Isn't there any way to avoid danger?
K: I don't want to be caught in an illusion.
Q: So can we say that truth is in the silence out of which the teaching comes?
K: But I want to know how the silence comes! I might invent it. I might have worked to have a silent mind for years, conditioned it, kept it in a cage, and then say, "Marvellous, I am silent". There is that danger. Logic is a danger. Thought is a danger. So I see all the dangers around me. I am caught in all these dangers and I want to find out if what that man is saying is the truth.
Q(1): I think there is no way or procedure to find that out. There is no prescription. I cannot tell anybody how to find out. I can say that I feel it with all my being, that something is true and maybe I can convey it through my life, but I cannot convince anybody through words or reason or by any method. And in the same way I cannot convince myself.
Q(2): Are we saying that perception has to be pure and in the realm of silence - the real realm of silence, not a fantasy - in order to be able to even come close to this question?
K: Dr Bohm is a scientist, a physicist, he is clear-thinking, logical; suppose someone goes to him and asks, "Is what Krishnamurti says the truth?" How is he going to answer?
Q: Doesn't Dr Bohm, or anybody, have to go beyond the limitations of logic?
K: Somebody comes to him and asks: "Tell me, I really want to know from you, please tell me if that man is speaking the truth."
Q: But you are then saying, use the instrument of logic to find out?
K: No. I am very interested because I have heard so many people who are illogical and careless say he is speaking the truth. But I go to a serious thinker, careful with the use of words, and ask: "Please tell me if he is telling the truth, not some crooked thing covered up," How is he going to answer me?
Q: The other day when that man said you may be caught in a groove,* and you looked at it first, what happened then?
K: I looked at it in several different ways and I don't think I am caught in a groove, but yet I might be. So after examining it very carefully, I left it. Something takes place when you leave it alone after an examination, something new comes into it.
Now I am asking you: Please tell me if that man is speaking the truth.
Q: For me it is a reality. I can't communicate it to you. This is what I have found out and you have to find it out for yourself. You have to test it in your own mind.
K: But you may be leading me up the garden path.
Q: That is all I can say. I can't really communicate it.
K: You may be up the garden path yourself.
Q(1): But then why should I go to Dr Bohm, much as I respect him?
*See Dialogue II, pages 234-5 and 236-7.
Q(2): One thing I can say is that I have questioned it and I have said it may be so, it may not be so, and I have looked carefully into the question of self-deception.
Q(3): It seems to me I would want to know what he is bringing to bear on the answer to this question. Is it science? Is it logic? Is it his own intelligence? I would want to know out of what he was going to answer me.
K: How do you in your heart of hearts, as a human being, know that he is speaking the truth? I want to feel it. I object to logic and all that. I have been through that before. Therefore if all that is not the way, then what is?
Q: There are people who are very clever, who speak of things which are very similar, who have grasped this intellectually very well and say they are speaking from truth.
K: Yes, they are repeating in India now: "You are the world, That is the latest catch-word!
Q: In order to communicate that, I have to speak out of the silence you were referring to.
K: No, please be simple with me. I want to know if Krishnamurti is speaking the truth. Dr Bohm has known Krishnamurti for several years. He has a good, trained mind so I go to him and ask him.
Q: All he can say is, "I know this man, this is how he affects me He has changed my life." And suddenly a note may be struck in the other one.
K: No. I want it straight from the horse's mouth!
Q(1): Dr Bohm is here. Let him tell us.
Q(2): But you said you wanted proof.
K: I don't. It is a very serious question, it isn't just a dramatic or intellectual question. This is a tremendous question.
Q: Can one ever get an answer? Or is that person asking a false question to begin with?
K: Is he?
Q(2): Of course. How can a person know?
Q(2): I think I could say to him that when we did discuss these things it was from the emptiness, and that I felt it was a direct perception
K: Yes. Is direct perception unrelated to logic?
Q: It doesn't come from logic.
K: But you are logical all the same.
Q: That may come later, not at that moment.
K: So you are telling me: I have found out that man is telling the truth because I had a direct perception, an insight into what he is saying.
K: Now be careful, because I have heard a disciple of some guru saying exactly the same thing.
Q: I have also heard a guru say this but a little later by looking at it logically I saw the thing was nonsense. When I was looking at the fact and the logic I saw that it did not fit. So I would say that in addition to direct perception I have constantly examined this logically.
K: So you are saying that perception has not blinded you and with that perception goes logic also.
Q: Yes, logic and fact.
K: So perception first, then logic. Not first logic, then perception. 117 Q: Yes. That is what it always has to be.
K: So through perception and then with logic, you see that it is the truth. Hasn't this been done by the devout Christians?
Q: Logic is not enough, because we have to see how people actually behave as well. I see that Christians say certain things, but when we look at the whole of what they do it doesn't fit.
K: Isn't there a terrible danger in this?
Q: I am sure there is a danger.
K: So you are now saying that one has to walk in danger.
K: Now I begin to understand what you are saying. One has to move in a field which is full of danger, full of snakes and pitfalls.
Q: Which means one has to be tremendously awake.
K: So I have learned from talking to him that this is a very dangerous thing. He has said you can only understand whether
Krishnamurti is speaking the truth if you are really prepared to walk in a field which is full of pitfalls. Is that right?
K: It is a field which is full of mines, the razor's edge path. Are you prepared to do that? One's whole being says "Be secure".
Q: That is the only way to do anything.
K: I have learnt to be aware of the dangers around me and also to face danger all the time and therefore to have no security. The enquirer might say, "This is too much" and go away!
So this is what I want to get at. Can the mind - which has been conditioned for centuries to be secure - abandon that, and say, "I will walk into danger"? That is what we are saying. It is logical, but in a sense it is illogical.
Q: In principle that is the way all science works.
K: Yes, that is right. So it also means I don't trust anybody - any guru, any prophet. I trust my wife because she loves me and I love her, but that is irrelevant.
Q: The word danger has to be explained too. From one point it is dangerous, and from another it isn't. I have to investigate. My conditioning is very dangerous.
K: So we're saying: "I have walked in danger and I have found the logic of this danger. Through the perception of the danger I have found the truth of what Krishnamurti is saying. And there is no security, no safety in this. Whereas all the others give me safety."
Q: Security becomes the ultimate danger.
K: Of course.
Q: What you have described is actually the scientific approach. They say every statement must be in danger of being false; it has been put that way.
K: That is perfectly right. I have learnt a lot - have you? A man comes from Seattle or Sheffield or Birmingham and is told: "I have found that what he says is the truth because I have had a perception and that perception stands logically". It is not outside of reason. And in that perception I see that where I walk is full of pitfalls, of danger. Therefore I have to be tremendously aware. Danger exists when there is no security. And the gurus, the priests; all offer security. Seeing the illogic of it I accept this illogic too
Q: I am not sure that you should call it illogical; it is not illogical but it is the way logic has to work.
K: Of course. Are we saying that direct perception, insight and the working out of it demand great logic, a great capacity to think clearly? But the capacity to think clearly will not bring about insight.
Q: But if the logic does not bring about perception, what does it do exactly?
K: It trains, it sharpens the mind. But that certainly won't bring about an insight.
Q: It is not through the mind that the perception comes.
K: That all depends on what you mean by the mind. Logic makes the mind sharp, clear, objective and sane. But that won't give you the other. Your question is: How does the other come about?
Q(1): No. That was not my question. Logic clears the mind, but is the mind the instrument of perception?
Q(2): You see, you must have the perception. If you have a perception, for example, about the ending of sorrow, or fear, it may be that the whole thing is a deception. Logic is something which provides the clarity in what you are doing from there on.
Q(3): Yes, that is what we said, that it clears the mind of confusion, of the debris.
Q(4): The debris may come if you don't have logic.
K: You might remain in the debris if you don't have logic.
Q: If the perception is a real perception and so the truth, why does it then need the discipline of logic to examine it?
K: We said perception works out logically. It does not need logic. Whatever it does is reasonable, logical, sane, objective.
Q: It is logical without an intent to make it so.
K: That's it.
Q: It is like saying that if you see what is in this room correctly, you will not find anything illogical in what you see.
K: All right. Will the perception keep the confusion, the debris away all the time so that the mind never accumulates it and doesn't have to keep clearing it away? That was your question, wasn't it?
Q: I think perception can reach the stage at which it is continually keeping the field clear. I say that it can reach that stage for a certain moment.
K: At a certain moment I have perception. But during the interval between the perceptions there is a lot of debris being gathered. Our question is: Is perception continuous so that there is no collection of the debris? Put it round the other way: Does one perception keep the field clear?
Q: Can one make a difference between insight and perception?
K: Don't break it up yet. Take those two words as synonymous We are asking: Is perception from time to time, with intervals. During those intervals a lot of debris collects and therefore the field has to be swept again. Or does perception in itself bring about tremendous clarity in which there is no debris?
Q: Are you saying that once it happens it will be there for ever?
K: That is what I am trying to get at. Don't use the words "continuous," "never again". Keep to the question; Once perception has taken place can the mind collect further debris, confusion? It is only when that perception becomes darkened by the debris, that the process of getting rid of it begins. But if there is perception why should there be a collecting, gathering?
Q: There are a lot of difficult points in this.