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Public Discussion 7 Saanen, Switzerland - 09 August 1966
Public Discussion 7 Saanen, Switzerland - 09 August 1966
As this is the last discussion, what shall we talk over together?
Questioner: How is the energy that one has through intense awareness to be maintained?
Krishnamurti: I don't know, either. (Laughter.) We all have problems of different kinds: financial, economic, emotional, psychological, physical - what to do and what not to do. There are despairs, there is anxiety, there is every form of psychological disturbance. We shan't meet again until next year and one of our major issues is: how am I going to live during this whole year? What is the significance, the meaning, of my life, my work, the whole of my existence? We have had a holiday here; we have rested; we have discussed; we have gone into various problems - jealousy, energy, this and that - looked at them from every angle, from every point of view, and what have we left at the end? Where are we? If we take stock of ourselves, what is the effect of all this month? Are we going back to the same old routine, the same old confusion, the same old misery, or have we planted something in this confusion which we think is clarity, understanding. Have we broken away from all this confusion, trying to do something about it, trying to reach something? Is there a totally different way of living? I think we ought to ask that question of ourselves, not merely ask, "Do I mean this; do I mean that?", which has no significance when we are vitally concerned with our own lives and with the life of the society in which we live.
There are so many contradictions. They are sending a man to the moon, spending millions and millions and millions - and there is starvation all over the world, especially in the East. The thing is too appalling. It is not only a human problem, but a problem of the world, and we have to act. We can't just go on everlastingly theorizing about various things. It seems to me that it would be worthwhile if we could discuss this morning, not intellectually, not theoretically, not what the speaker means, not what you mean, not what someone else means, cutting out all that kind of thinking and facing, coming to grips with the central issue of our existence going into it quietly, seeing how we can renew the total mind and not go back to gossip, not take up smoking or give up smoking, not have sex or no, sex, not be concerned with those trivial human things that we are caught in.
The most important thing, if I may suggest, is to consider whether it is possible to bring about a revolution in the mind, which has been so heavily conditioned, which has so many varieties of contradictions within itself, and make it totally new, young, fresh, innocent, full of energy and decision. A young mind, in the real sense of that word, not in terms of years, is a very decisive mind. It doesn't choose; it sees clearly and does something directly without ideas, whether the family accepts it or doesn't accept it. Because it is so young, vital, vigorous, its decision is immediate. It may be wrong, but it is decisive. If it is wrong, it discovers it and moves on. The more the brain and the totality of the mind become old, the more sluggish, the more indecisive, the more unclear they get, searching to find out what to do.
Can we, this morning, see, talk over together whether it is possible for the mind to make itself totally new, fresh, which is obviously not dependent on age, on how many years we have lived? Can we discuss that?
Questioner: If we use our energy, and do not use it as thought, it will not be fragmentary.
Krishnamurti: We can go on everlastingly asking questions: serious, worthwhile questions that have significance.and meaning, or questions that can be very easily asked and very easily answer.ed. But can we, this morning, put away all these questions and give our whole attention to discover, to actually be-fresh? We are getting old, not only in years, but the brain is wearing itself out. It is not so young and fresh and active, not so vigorous as it was. As we advance in age, there is naturally a dulling process going on. The wave of deterioration is catching up with us all the time. Whether we are very young or very old, this enormous wave of destruction is going on.
Don't you want to find out whether you can totally renew your mind, not what I think, what you think, what the latest theologian thinks or what the priests think? All that has become so utterly trivial.
Questioner: One is still afraid.
Krishnamurti: Is that what keeps us from having a mind that is always fresh, not in theory or intellectually, but actually and factually? Is that what prevents our looking at life, at the mountains, at the trees, at the neighbour, whether the neighbour is immediately next to us or in Vietnam? Is this the problem?
We have spent a month in this tent talking over together the various problems of our hearts and minds, physical, psychological and so on. As this is the last day, doesn't this enquiry burn you ? Aren't you really passionate to find out? It seems to me that is the only problem we have. We know our actions are contradictory; we are confused; there is utter despair, loneliness, misery, confusion, worry, problems and this terrible ambition with all its complications. They all don't seem to end; they go on and on and on. After a month in this lovely valley, don't we demand that there be a total change of heart and mind? If there isn't, what shall we do?
Questioner: How can one empty the storehouse which the mind and the brain have collected through these thousands upon thousands of years? How can it empty itself and be young?
Krishnamurti: I am asking the same question. Because if it can be answered, then I will solve all my daily problems: my rudeness to people, my roughness with people, talking sharply, shouting at people - not that I must wait until the storehouse is empty! We are in such a state of confusion. We can't peel off this confusion layer after layer after layer. Trying to do that leads to such disgusting despair. Is it possible for the mind to empty itself and be fresh, young again, uncontaminated, so that when I see the blue sky after yesterday's rain, it is something that I have never seen before? It isn't the same sky; it isn't the same face; it isn't the same problem; there is something new; a revolution has taken place. Don't you want to know what to do, so that this may happen.
Questioner: If I ask myself something which I haven't known before, if I drop all my preconceptions, and step forward without any reservations, I find that the mind has then emptied itself and I can discover.
Krishnamurti: Are you telling me a method, the way to do it? Questioner: I am trying to describe my own experience.
Krishnamurti: You're telling your own method, the way you have done it.
Questioner: I'm trying to describe what I have done.
Krishnamurti: Look, sir. No one can tell us; no one can say, "I have got it; you should do this". You never listen to the question. First, listen to the question. It is a tremendous question; it is a most complex question, and everyone gives an answer, "Do this; don't do that; "This is what I feel", "This is my experience", "This is what I have done". Let us first realize the simple fact that it is an enormously complex problem. Man has tried in different ways through centuries to solve it. The teachers have said to meditate; they have said to give up this stupid life, become a monk or a nun and lead a different kind of life. Man has tried everything possible: new theories, new ideas, new ways of overcoming contradictions.
That's what you're all doing. You don't say, "This is a tremendously complex question; I really don't understand it; it is too complex for me, because my mind is so petty, so small. From that pettiness I'm answering, with lots of reactions". Stop answering; invariably the answer is from the little, shallow mind that we have struggled with to improve, to add to, to suppress, to put away, but it is still petty. Can you stop replying - not to me, not to the speaker, but to yourself?
When you are confronted with an enormous problem, any answer that you give to the problem, whether you are a scientist or a most erudite, a most experienced person is from a small mind, a fragmentary mind. Why don't you try saying, "I won't answer; I can't answer", and see what happens? When you say, "I can't answer", really mean it; don't just wait for someone to answer it. This doesn't mean I to go to sleep, to go into some mystical silence, which very few know anything about. When you are confronted with a most complex mathematical problem, don't you first stop and look? You look; you see what is implied. The more complex it is, the more subtle it is, the quieter the mind becomes. It isn't that the speaker is trying to prevent your asking questions; first find out whether your heart and mind are capable, when confronted with this enormous issue, of not reacting, jumping to conclusions, formulating ideas, wanting to express them, wanting to communicate. Stop all that.
If you have done so, then you can begin to ask seriously whether it is possible for the mind to free itself from this burden of the aged. You don't know. First, is it possible? What is involved in this? You must have an extraordinarily sensitive brain, which doesn't all the time react in the animalistic way, and is not caught in a habit, in repetition, in irritation. Is that possible? The physical brain itself, every corner of it, not just a particular fragment, must be so alive, so alert that it is not caught in any theory, in any opinion, in any argument, in any tradition. For the brain to come upon it, to discover it, there must be meditation - not the stupid meditation of repetition, of words, prayers and all that kind of silly nonsense - but meditation to find out whether the brain can be quiet, free of all the normal so-called animalistic reactions.
We have discussed the various forms of these reactions: you hit me, and I hit you back, or, I Express it. Can the brain itself be extraordinarily quiet, and yet very vigorous, capable of reasoning, healthy? Obviously a neurotic brain, a mind that is tortured, a brain that has broken down through constant submission to some relationship, to some idea, to some conditioning can't do this. Since the brain cells themselves have been so heavily conditioned, so heavily brutalized by repetition of pleasure, pain, love, hate, going through that circle, the first thing to find out is whether the brain can remain without that reaction of the animal. That's part of meditation. To proceed further, the next movement of meditation is to see whether the totality of the mind - which is the brain, the physical being, the nervous responses, the emotions, the anxieties can free itself.
We don't do any of these things; we're full of ideas of what we should do, what we should not do, what the speaker said, what he didn't say, didn't he mean this, didn't he mean that - we can carry on endlessly. We must spend time - chronological time, not psychological time - to see how we react. I heard the other day of a man who has been listening to the speaker for forty years. He got terribly excited about nothing at a committee meeting. We're all like that. If you touch our sore spot, we flare up. Can we be aware of our simple reactions of hate, jealousy of someone who has a little more power than we have - the simple things, not the most complex things - and from there move, like a river that passes the dirty towns and villages. It keeps on moving, moving, moving. This movement of renewal is only possible if we begin at the most simple level; for that you don't have to read books, attend meetings except perhaps this one! (Laughter.) You don't have to join societies or organizations. Begin at the first rung and never climb' the ladder. We always want to climb, climb, climb, go higher and higher, out of vanity. Let the first rung, the first step, be the last one. There is nowhere to climb, nothing to achieve. The ladder with so many rungs, steps, doesn't lead anywhere. There is only one step, the first step; and if we know how to meet that first step, if we know all about it, then the whole circus is over. Then there is humility, real humility, because we are not climbing, climbing, climbing. Where there is humility, there is learning - not accumulating, not climbing the ladder. Learning means that there is no climbing, no storing up of knowledge, no prejudices such as "my country" - such silly nonsense it all is!
Where there is learning, there is no storehouse; there are no steps to climb to reach God, Utopia, or the final glorious ideal. There is only one step; there are no other steps. That's where the clever ones, the people who have gone into it a little bit, are in despair, because they see that there is only one step, and they can't go beyond it. They write books, invent new philosophies, and catch man with phrases, such as Twentieth Century Humanitarianism, Existentialism, or some other word. When we see that there is only one step, and we don't know how to meet it, there is unending despair, because we want to climb the ladder. There is no despair if we really see that there is only one step. There is no reaching, no gaining, no searching, no achievement, no saying, "I am better than some one else". Leave all that muck to the theologians, to the priests, to the politicians, to the writers. Then you will see what beauty is. It is not in the mountain, in the river, in the sky; it is not in a painting, in a book or in any object that man has created. Where beauty is, there is love. There is beauty when there is only one action, which is every minute, and no other action. If we have action which must be done in order to get something, if we have a motive in action, it only leads to more complexity.
We begin to see that in this one step, all life is. Then we will see that to die to this first step is the beginning of a totally new existence, a totally different quality of mind, because then there is no movement, no experience, no change; therefore the mind is always renewing itself, because it's never climbing, never comparing. Where there is no step, there is love, but there is no love for the man who is climbing the ladder. The ladder and the rungs on the ladder are the invention of the mind, of thought; and thought has created God on the last rung, on the top rung of the ladder. God is not up there at all. That's just I, an invention of the mind. But there is a totally different dimension which is not put together by thought, when man is no longer moving, climbing, seeking. When man is no longer escaping he listens to everything. It is that movement, that listening - not acquiring, not adding that brings about a fresh mind, naturally, sanely, with great health, capacity and vigour.
One returns to something that is very beautiful: to a mountain, to a river, to a lovely flower. One wants to go back and look at it again. It is natural, healthy; but if that mountain, that river, that flower acts as a stimulant, then it ceases to be beautiful. Then it's merely a drug, and you're lost. Though I said, "Don't attend meetings", I hope we shall meet next year, not as something in the nature of a drug or a stimulant, not for you to listen to words, to ideas, and translate them into concepts and formulas, but that coming together, meeting together, talking things over together, we shall see something extraordinarily beautiful; and without beauty, and therefore without love, our minds and hearts become dull, cynical, bitter, harsh, brutal.
I hope that you will have a pleasant journey.
August 9, 1966