Awakening of Intelligence
2nd Public Talk in New York
24th April 1971
Krishnamurti: I would like to talk about relationship, about what love is, about human existence in which is involved our daily living, the problems one has, the conflicts, the pleasures and the fears, and that most extraordinary thing one calls death.
I think one has to understand, not as a theory, not as a speculative, entertaining concept, but rather as an actual fact - that we are the world and the world is us. The world is each one of us; to feel that, to be really committed to it and to nothing else, brings about a feeling of great responsibility and an action that must not be fragmentary, but whole.
I think we are apt to forget that our society, the culture in which we live, which has conditioned us, is the result of human endeavour, conflict, human misery and suffering. Each one of us is that culture; the community is each one of us - we are not separate from it. To feel this, not as an intellectual idea or a concept, but to actually feel the reality of this, one has to go into the question of what is relationship; because our life, our existence, is based on relationship. Life is a movement in relationship. If we do not understand what is implied in relationship, we inevitably not only isolate ourselves, but create a society in which human beings are divided, not only nationally, religiously, but also in themselves and therefore they project what they are into the outer world.
I do not know if you have gone into this question deeply for yourself, to find out if one can live with another in total harmony, in complete accord, so that there is no barrier, no division, but a feeling of complete unity. Because relationship means to be related - not in action, not in some project, not in an ideology - but to be totally united in the sense that the division, the fragmentation between individuals, between two human beings, does not exist at all at any level.
Unless one finds this relationship, it seems to me that when we try to bring order in the world, theoretically or technologically, we are bound to create not only deep divisions between man and man, but also we shall be unable to prevent corruption. Corruption begins in the lack of relationship; I think that is the root of corruption. Relationship as we know it now is the continuation of division between individuals. The root meaning of that word individual means "indivisible". A human being who is in himself not divided, not fragmented, is really an individual. But most of us are not individuals; we think we are, and therefore there is the opposition of the individual to the community. One has to understand not only the meaning of that word individuality in the dictionary sense, but in that deep sense in which there is no fragmentation at all. That means perfect harmony between the mind, the heart and the physical organism. Only then an individuality exists.
If we examine our present relationship with each other closely, be it intimate or superficial, deep or passing, we see is fragmented. Wife or husband, boy or girl, each lives in his own ambition, in personal and egotistic pursuits, in his own cocoon. All these contribute to the factor of bringing about an image in himself and therefore his relationship with another is through that image, therefore there is no actual relationship.
I do not know if you are aware of the structure and the nature of this image that one has built around oneself and in oneself. Each person is doing this all the time, and how can there be a relationship with another, if there is that personal drive, envy, competition, greed and all the rest of those things which are sustained and exaggerated in modern society? How can there be relationship with another, if each one of us is pursuing his own personal achievement, his own personal success?
I do not know if one is at all aware of this. We are so conditioned that we accept it as the norm, as the pattern of life, that each one must pursue his own particular idiosyncrasy or tendency, and yet try to establish a relationship with another in spite of this. Isn't that what we are all doing? You may be married and you go to the office or to the factory; whatever you are doing during the whole of the day, you pursue that. And your wife is in her house, with her own troubles, with her own vanities, with all that happens. Where is the relationship between those two human beings? Is it in bed, in sex? Is a relationship so superficial, so limited, so circumscribed, not in itself corruption?
One may ask: how then are you to live, if you do not go to the office, pursue your own particular ambition, your own desire to achieve and to attain? If one does not do any of this, what is one to do? I think that is a wrong question altogether, don't you? Because we are concerned, are we not, in bringing about a radical change in the whole structure of the mind. The crisis is not in the outer world, but in consciousness itself. And until we understand this crisis, not superficially, not according to some philosopher, but actually deeply understand it for ourselves by looking into it and examining it, we shall not be able to bring about a change. We are concerned with psychological revolution and this revolution can only take place when there is the right kind of relationship between human beings.
How is such a relationship to be brought about? The problem is clear, isn't it? Please, share this problem with me, will you? It's your problem, not my problem; it's your life, not my life, it's your sorrow, your trouble, your anxiety, your guilt. This battle is one's life. If you listen merely to a description, then you will find that you are only, swimming on the surface and not resolving any problem at all. It is actually your problem, and the speaker is merely describing it - knowing that the description is not the described. Let us share this problem together, which is: how can human beings, you and I, find a right relationship in all this turmoil, hatred, destruction, pollution, and among these terrible things which are going on in the world?
To find that out, it seems to me, one must examine what is taking place, see what actually "is". Not what we should like to think it should be, or try to change our relationship to a future concept, but actually observe what it is now. In observing the fact, the truth, the actuality of it, there is a possibility of changing it. As we said the other day, when there is a possibility then there is great energy. What dissipates energy is the idea that it is not possible to change.
So we must look at our relationship as it is actually now, every day; and in observing what it is, we shall discover how to bring about a change in that actuality. So we are describing what actually is, which is: each one lives in his own world, in his world of ambition, greed, fear, the desire to succeed and all the rest of it - you know what is going on. If I am married, I have responsibilities, children, and all the rest of it. I go to the office, or some place of work, and we meet each other, husband and wife, boy and a girl, in bed. And that's what we call love, leading separate lives, isolated, building a wall of resistance round ourselves, pursuing a self-centred activity; each one is seeking security psychologically, each one is depending on the other for comfort, for pleasure, for companionship; because each one is so deeply lonely, each demands to be loved, to be cherished, each one is trying to dominate the other.
You can see this for yourself, if you observe yourself. Is there any kind of relationship at all? There is no relationship between two human beings, though they may have children, a house, actually they are not related. If they have a common project, that project sustains them, holds them together, but that's not relationship.
Realizing all this, one sees that if there is no relationship between two human beings, then corruption begins - not in the outward structure of society, in the outer phenomenon of pollution, but inner pollution, corruption, destruction begins, when human beings have actually no relationship at all, as you haven't. You may hold the hand of another, kiss each other, sleep together, but actually, when you observe very closely, is there any relationship at all? To be related means not to be dependent on each other, not to escape from your loneliness through another, not to try to find comfort, companionship, through another. When you seek comfort through another, are dependent and all the rest of it, can there be any kind of relationship? Or are you then using each other? We are not being cynical, but actually observing what is: that is not cynicism. So to find out what it actually means to be related to another, one must understand this question of loneliness, because most of us are terribly lonely; the older we grow the more lonely we become, especially in this country. Have you noticed the old people, what they are like? Have you noticed their escapes, their amusements? They have worked all their lives and they want to escape into some kind of entertainment.
Seeing this, can we find a way of living in which we don't use another? - psychologically, emotionally, not depend on another, not use another as a means of escape from our own tortures, from our own despairs, from our own loneliness.
To understand this is to understand what it means to be lonely. Have you ever been lonely? Do you know what it means? - that you have no relationship with another, are completely isolated. You may be with your family, in a crowd, in the office, wherever you are, when this complete sense of utter loneliness with its despair suddenly comes upon you. Till you solve that completely, your relationship becomes a means of escape and therefore it leads to corruption, to misery. How is one to understand this loneliness, this sense of complete isolation? To understand it, one has to look at one's own life. Is not your every action a self-centred activity? You may occasionally be charitable, generous, do something without any motive - those are rare occasions. This despair can never be dissolved through escape, but by observing it.
So we have come back to this question, which is: how to observe? How to observe ourselves, so that in that observation there is no conflict at all? Because conflict is corruption, is waste of energy, it is the battle of our life, from the moment we are born till we die. Is it possible to live without a single moment of conflict? To do that, to find that out for ourselves, one has to learn how to observe our whole movement. There is observation which becomes harmonious, which is true, when the observer is not, but only observation. We went into that the other day.
When there is no relationship can there be love? We talk about it, and love, as we know it, is related to sex and pleasure, isn't it? Some of you say "No". When you say "No", then you must be without ambition, then there must be no competition, no division - as you and me, we and they. There must be no division of nationality, or the division brought about by belief, by knowledge. Then, only, can you say you love. But for most people love is related to sex and pleasure and all the travail that comes with it: jealousy, envy, antagonism, you know what happens between man and woman. When that relationship is not true, real, deep, completely harmonious, then how can you have peace in the world? How can there be an end to war?
So relationship is one of the most, or rather the most important thing in life. That means that one has to understand what love is. Surely, one comes upon it, strangely, without asking for it. When you find out for yourself what love is not, then you know what love is - not theoretically, not verbally - but when you realize actually what it is not, which is: not to have a mind that is competitive, ambitious, a mind that is striving, comparing, imitating; such a mind cannot possibly love.
So can you, living in this world, live completely without ambition, completely without ever comparing yourself with another? Because the moment you compare, then there is conflict, there is envy, there is the desire to achieve, to go beyond the other.
Can a mind and a heart that remembers the hurts, the insults, the things that have made it insensitive and dull - can such a mind and heart know what love is? Is love pleasure? And yet that is what we are pursuing, consciously or unconsciously. Our gods are the result of our pleasure. Our beliefs, our social structure, the morality of society - which is essentially immoral - is the result of our pursuit of pleasure. And when you say, "I love somebody", is it love? That means: no separation, no domination, no self-centred activity. To find out what it is, one must deny all this - deny it in the sense of seeing the falseness of it. When you once see something as false - which you have accepted as true, as natural, as human - then you can never go back to it; when you see a dangerous snake, or a dangerous animal, you never play with it, you never come near it. Similarly, when you actually see that love is none of these things, feel it, observe it, chew it, live with it, are totally committed to it, then you will know what love is, what compassion is - which means passion for everyone. We have no passion; we have lust, we have pleasure. The root meaning of the word passion is sorrow. We have all had sorrow of some kind or another, losing somebody, the sorrow of self-pity, the sorrow of the human race, both collective and personal. We know what sorrow is, the death of someone whom you consider you have loved. When we remain with that sorrow totally, without trying to rationalize it, without trying to escape from it in any form through words or through action, when you remain with it completely, without any movement of thought, then you will find, out of that sorrow comes passion. That passion has the quality of love, and love has no sorrow.
One has to understand this whole question of existence, the conflicts, the battles: you know the life that one leads, so empty, so meaningless. The intellectuals try to give it a meaning and we also want to find significance to life, because life has no meaning as it is lived. Has it? The constant struggle, the endless work, the misery, the suffering, the travail that one goes through in life, all that has actually no meaning - we go through it as a habit. But to find out what the significance is, one must also understand the significance of death; because living and dying go together, they are not two separate things.
So one must enquire what it means to die, because that is part of our living. Not something in the distant future, to be avoided, only to be faced when one is desperately ill, in old age or in an accident, or on a battlefield. As it is part of our daily life to live without a single breath of conflict, so it is part of our life to find out what it means to love. That is also part of our existence, and one must understand it.
How do we understand what death is? When you are dying, at the last moment, can you understand the way you have lived? - the strains, the emotional struggles, the ambitions, the drive; you are probably unconscious and that makes you incapable of clear perception. Then there is the deterioration of the mind in old age and all the rest of it. So one has to understand what death is now, not tomorrow. As you observe, thought does not want to think about it. It thinks about all the things it will do tomorrow - how to make new inventions, better bathrooms, all the things that thought can think about. But it does not want to think about death, because it does not know what it means. Is the meaning of death to be found through the process of thought? Please do share this. When we share it, then we will begin to see the beauty of all this, but if you sit there and let the speaker go on, merely listening to his words, then we don't share together. Sharing together implies a certain quality of care, attention, affection, love. Death is a tremendous problem. The young people may say: why do you bother about it? But it is part of their life, as it is part of their life to understand celibacy. Don't just say, "Why do you talk about celibacy, that's for the old fogeys, that's for the stupid monks." What it means to be celibate has also been a problem for human beings, that also is part of life.
Can the mind be completely chaste? Not being able to find out how to live a chaste life, one takes vows of celibacy and goes through tortures. That is not celibacy. Celibacy is something entirely different. It is to have a mind that is free from all images, from all knowledge; which means understanding the whole process of pleasure and fear.
Similarly, one has to understand this thing called death. How do you proceed to understand something of which you are terribly frightened? Aren't we frightened of death? Or we say, "Thank God I'm going to die, I've had enough of this life with all the misery of it, the confusion, the shoddiness, the brutality, the mechanical things by which one is caught, thank God all this will end!" That is not an answer; nor is it to rationalize death, or to believe in some reincarnation, as the whole Asiatic world does. To find out what reincarnation means, which is to be born in a future existence, you must find out what you are now. If you believe in reincarnation, what are you now? - a lot of words, a lot of experience, of knowledge; you are conditioned by various cultures, you are all the identifications of your life, your furniture, your house, your bank account, your experiences of pleasure and pain. That's what you are, aren't you? The remembrance of the failures, the hopes, the despairs, all that you are now, and that is going to be born in the next life - a lovely idea, isn't it!
Or you think there is a permanent soul, a permanent entity. Is there anything permanent in you? The moment you say there is a permanent soul, a permanent entity, that entity is the result of your thinking, or the result of your hopes, because there is so much insecurity, everything is transient, in a flux, in a movement. So when you say there is something permanent, that permanency is the result of your thinking. And thought is of the past, thought is never free - it can invent anything it likes!
So if you believe in a future birth, then you must know that the future is conditioned by the way you live now, what you do now, what you think, what your acts are, your ethics. So what you are now, what you do now, matters tremendously. But those people who believe in a future birth don't give a pin about what happens now, it's just a matter of belief.
So, how do you find out what death means, when you are living with vitality, with energy, full of health? Not when you are unbalanced, or ill, not at the last moment, but now, knowing the organism must inevitably wear out, like every machinery. Unfortunately we use our machinery so disrespectfully, don't we? Knowing the physical organism comes to an end, have you ever thought about what it means to die? You can't think about it. Have you ever experimented to find out what it means to die psychologically, inwardly? - not how to find immortality, because eternity, that which is timeless, is now, not in some distant future. To enquire into that, one must understand the whole problem of time; not only chronological time, by the watch, but the time that thought has invented as a gradual process of change.
How does one find out about this strange thing that we all have to meet one day or another? Can you die psychologically today; die to everything that you have known? For instance: to die to your pleasure, to your attachment, your dependence, to end it without arguing, without rationalizing, without trying to find ways and means of avoiding it. Do you know what it means to die, not physically, but psychologically, inwardly? Which means to put an end to that which has continuity; to put an end to your ambition, because that's what's going to happen when you die, isn't it? You can't carry it over and sit next to God! (Laughter) When you actually die, you have to end so many things without any argument. You can't say to death, "Let me finish my job, let me finish my book, all the things I have not done, let me heal the hurts which I have given others" - you have no time.
So can you find out how to live a life now, today, in which there is always an ending to everything that you began? Not in your office of course, but inwardly to end all the knowledge that you have gathered - knowledge being your experiences, your memories, your hurts, the comparative way of living, comparing yourself always with somebody else. To end all that every day, so that the next day your mind is fresh and young. Such a mind can never be hurt, and that is innocence.
One has to find out for oneself what it means to die; then there is no fear, therefore every day is a new day - and I really mean this, one can do this - so that your mind and your eyes see life as something totally new. That is eternity. That is the quality of the mind that has come upon this timeless state, because it has known what it means to die every day to everything it has collected during the day. Surely, in that there is love. Love is something totally new every day, but pleasure is not, pleasure has continuity. Love is always new and therefore it is its own eternity.
Do you want to ask any questions?
Questioner: Supposing, Sir, that through complete, objective, self-observation I find that I am greedy, sensual, selfish and all that. Then how can I know whether this kind of living is good or bad, unless I have already some preconceptions of the good? If I have these preconceptions, they can only derive from self-observation.
Krishnamurti: Quite, Sir.
Questioner: I also find another difficulty. You seem to believe in sharing, but at the same time you say that two lovers, or husband and wife, cannot base their love, shouldn't base their love, on comforting each other. I don't see anything wrong in comforting each other - that is sharing.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says, "One must have a concept of the good, otherwise, why should one give up all this ambition, greed, envy and all the rest of it?" You can have a formula or a concept of what is better, but can you have a concept of what is good?
Questioner: Yes, I think so.
Krishnamurti: Can thought produce what is good?
Questioner: No, I meant the conception of such good.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir. The conception of good is the product of thought; otherwise how can you conceive what is good?
Questioner: The conceptions can only be derived from our self-observation.
Krishnamurti: I'm just pointing that out, Sir. Why should you have a concept of the good at all?
Questioner: Otherwise how do I know whether my life is good or bad?
Krishnamurti: Just listen to the question. Don't we know what conflict is? Do I have to have a concept of non-conflict before I am aware of conflict? I know what conflict is - the struggle, the pain. Don't I know that, without knowing a state when there is no conflict? When I formulate what is good, I will formulate it according to my conditioning, according to my way of thinking, feeling, my particular idiosyncrasy and all the rest of my cultural conditioning. Is the good to be projected by thought? - and will thought then tell me what is good and bad in my life? Or has goodness nothing whatsoever to do with thought, or with a formula? Where does goodness flower? - do tell me. In a concept? In some idea, in some ideal that lies in the future? A concept means a future, a tomorrow. It may be very far away, or very close, but it is still in time. And when you have a concept, projected by thought - thought being the response of memory, the response of accumulated knowledge depending on the culture in which you have lived - do you find that goodness in the future, created by thought? Or do you find it when you begin to understand conflict, pain and sorrow?
So in the understanding of "what is" - not by comparing "what is" with "what should be" - in that understanding flowers goodness. Surely, goodness has nothing whatsoever to do with thought - has it? Has love got anything to do with thought? Can you cultivate love by formulating it and saying "My ideal of love is that"? Do you know what happens when you cultivate love? You are not loving. You think you will have love at some future date; in the meantime you are violent. So is goodness the product of thought? Is love the product of experience, of knowledge? What was the second question, Sir?
Questioner: The second question was about sharing.
Krishnamurti: What do you share? What are we sharing now? We talked about death, we talked about love, about the necessity of total revolution, about complete psychological change, not to live in the old pattern of formulas, of struggle, pain, imitation, conformity and all the rest of those things man has lived for through millennia and has produced this marvellous, messy world! We have talked about death. How do we share that together? - share the understanding of it, not the verbal statement, not the description, not the explanations of it? What does sharing mean? - to share the understanding, to share the truth which comes with the understanding. And what does understanding mean? You tell me something which is serious, which is vital, which is relevant, important, and I listen to it completely, because it is vital to me. To listen vitally, my mind must be quiet, mustn't it? If I am chattering, if I am looking somewhere else, if I am comparing what you are saying with what I know, my mind is not quiet. It is only when my mind is quiet and listens completely, that there is understanding of the truth of the thing. That we share together, otherwise we can't share; we can't share the words - we can only share the truth of something. You and I can only see the truth of something when the mind is totally committed to the observation.
To see the beauty of a sunset, the lovely hills, the shadows and the moonlight - how do you share it with a friend? By telling him, "Do look at that marvellous hill"? You may say it, but is that sharing? When you actually share something with another, it means you must both have the same intensity, at the same time, at the same level. Otherwise you can't share, can you? You must both have a common interest, at the same level, with the same passion - otherwise how can you share something? You can share a piece of bread - but that's not what we are talking about.
To see together - which is sharing together - we must both of us see; not agree or disagree, but see together what actually is; not interpret it according to my conditioning or your conditioning, but see together what it is. And to see together one must be free to observe, one must be free to listen. That means to have no prejudice. Then only, with that quality of love, is there sharing.
Questioner: How can one quieten, or free the mind, from interruptions by the past?
Krishnamurti: You cannot quieten the mind: full stop! Those are tricks. You can take a pill and make the mind quiet - you absolutely cannot make the mind quiet, because you are the mind. You can't say, "I will make my mind quiet". Therefore one has to understand what meditation is - actually, not what other people say it is. One has to find out whether the mind can ever be quiet; not: how to make the mind quiet. So one has to go into this whole question of knowledge, and whether the mind, the brain cells, which are loaded with all the past memories, can be absolutely quiet and come into function when necessary; and when it is not necessary, be completely and wholly quiet.
Questioner: Sir, when you speak of relationships, you speak always of a man and a woman or a girl and a bay. Will the same things you say about relationships also apply to a man and a man, or a woman and a woman?
Questioner: If you wish to give it that name, Sir, yes.
Krishnamurti: You see, when we are talking of love, whether it is of man and man, woman and woman, or man and woman, we are not talking of a particular kind of relationship, we are talking about the whole movement, the whole sense of relationship, not a relationship with one, or two. Don't you know what it means to be related to the world? - when you feel you are the world. Not as an idea - that's appalling - but actually to feel that you are responsible, that you are committed to this responsibility. That is the only commitment; not to be committed through bombs, or committed to a particular activity, but to feel that you are the world and the world is you. Unless you change completely, radically, and bring about a total mutation in yourself do what you will outwardly, there will be no peace for man. If you feel that in your blood, then your questions will be related entirely to the present and to bringing about a change in the present, not to some speculative ideals.
Questioner: The last time we were together, you were telling us that if someone has a painful experience and it is not fully faced, or is avoided, it goes into the unconscious as a fragment. How are we to free ourselves from these fragments of painful and fearful experiences, so that the past won't have a grip on us?
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir, that is conditioning. How does one free oneself from this conditioning? How do I free myself from my conditioning of the culture in which I was born? First, I must be aware that I am conditioned - not somebody telling me that I am conditioned. You understand the difference? If somebody tells me I am hungry, that's something different from actually being hungry. So I must be aware of my conditioning, which means, I must be aware of it not only superficially, but at the deeper levels. That is, I must be aware totally. To be so aware, means that I am not trying to go beyond the conditioning, not trying to be free of the conditioning. I must see it as it actually is, not bring in another element, such as: wanting to be free of it, because that is an escape from actuality. I must be aware. What does that mean? To be aware of my conditioning totally, not partially, means my mind must be highly sensitive, mustn't it? Otherwise I can't be aware. To be sensitive means to observe everything very, very closely - the colours, the quality of people, all the things around me. I must also be aware of what actually is without any choice. Can you do that? - not trying to interpret it, not trying to change it, not trying to go beyond it or trying to be free of it - just to be totally aware of it.
When you observe a tree, between you and the tree there is time and space, isn't there? And there is also the botanical knowledge about it, the distance between you and the tree - which is time - and the separation which comes through knowledge of the tree. To look at that tree without knowledge, without the time-quality, does not mean identifying yourself with the tree, but to observe the tree so attentively, that the boundaries of time don't come into it at all; the boundaries of time come in only when you have knowledge about the tree. Can you look at your wife, or your friend, or whatever it is without the image? The image is the past, which has been put together by thought, as nagging, bullying, dominating, as pleasure, companionship and all that. It is the image that separates; it is the image that creates distance and time. Look at that tree, or the flower, the cloud, or the wife or the husband, without the image!
If you can do that, then you can observe your conditioning totally; then you can look at it with a mind that is not spotted by the past, and therefore the mind itself is free of conditioning.
To look at myself - as we generally do - I look as an observer looking at the observed: myself as the observed and the observer looking at it. The observer is the knowledge, is the past, is time, the accumulated experiences - he separates himself from the thing observed.
Now, to look without the observer! You do this when you are completely attentive. Do you know what it means to be attentive? Don't go to school to learn to be attentive! To be attentive means to listen without any interpretation, without any judgement - just to listen. When you are so listening there is no boundary, there is no "you" listening. There is only a state of listening. So when you observe your conditioning, the conditioning exists only in the observer, not in the observed. When you look without the observer, without the "me" - his fears, his anxieties and all the rest of it - then you will see, you enter into a totally different dimension.
3rd Public Talk in New York
25th April 1971
Religious Experience, Meditation
Krishnamurti: We said that we would talk over together a very complex problem, which is: is there a religious experience, and what are the implications of meditation? If one observes, it appears that throughout the world man has always been seeking something beyond his own death, beyond his own problems, something that will be enduring, true and timeless. He has called it God, he has given it many names; and most of us believe in something of that kind, without ever actually experiencing it.
Various religions have promised that if you believe in certain forms of rituals, dogmas, saviours, you might, if you lead a certain kind of life, come upon this strange thing, whatever name one likes to give to it. And those who have directly experienced it, have done it according to their conditioning, to their belief to their environmental and cultural influences.
Apparently religion has lost its meaning, because there have been religious wars; religion does not answer all our problems, religions have separated peoples. They have brought about some kind of civilising influence, but they have not changed man radically. When one begins to enquire if there is such a thing as religious experience and what that experience is, why one calls it "religious", obviously one must first have a great deal of honesty. It is not to be honest according to a principle or a belief, or to some form of commitment, but to honestly see things exactly as they are, without any distortion, not only outwardly, but also inwardly: never to deceive oneself. For deception is quite easy if one craves for some kind of experience, call it religious or otherwise - if one takes a trip and so on. Then you are bound to be caught in some kind of illusion.
One has to find out for oneself, if one can, what religious experience is. One needs a great sense of humility and honesty, which means never to ask for experience, never to demand for oneself a reality or an achievement. So one has to look very closely at one's own desires, attachments and fears and understand them wholly, if one can, so that the mind is in no way distorted, so that there will be no illusion, no deception. And one has to ask also: what does it mean to experience?
I do not know if you have gone into that question at all. Most of us are bored with the usual experiences of every day. We are tired of them all, and the more one is sophisticated, intellectual, the more one wants to live only in the present - whatever that may mean - and invent a philosophy of the present. The word experience means to go through, to go right to the end and finish with it. But unfortunately for most of us, every experience leaves a scar, a memory, pleasant or unpleasant, and we want to retain only the pleasant ones. When we are asking for any kind of spiritual, religious, or transcendental experience, we must try to find out first of all whether there is such an experience, and also what experience itself means. If you experience something and you cannot recognise it, then that experience ceases to be. One of the essential meanings of experience is recognition. And when there is recognition, it has already been known, has already been experienced, otherwise you could not recognise it.
So when they talk about religious, spiritual, or transcendental experience - that word is so misused - you must already have known it, to be able to recognise that you are experiencing something other than an ordinary experience. It seems logical and true that the mind must be able to recognise the experience, and recognition implies something you have already known, therefore it is not new. When you want experience in the religious field, you want it because you have not solved your problems, your daily anxieties, despairs, fears and sorrows, therefore you want something more. In that demand for more lies deception. That is fairly logical and true, I think. Not that logic is always true, but when one uses logic and reason healthily, sanely, one knows the limitations of reason. The demand for wider, deeper, more fundamental experiences only leads to a further extension of the path of the known. I think that is clear, and I hope we are communicating, sharing with each other.
Then also in this religious enquiry one is seeking to find out what truth is, if there is a reality, if there is such a thing as a state of mind that is beyond time. Search again implies a seeker - doesn't it? And what is he seeking? How will he know that what he has found in his search is true? Again, if he finds what is true - at least what he thinks is true - that depends on his conditioning, on his knowledge, on his past experiences; search then merely becomes a further projection of his own past hopes, fears and longings.
A mind that is enquiring - not seeking - must be totally free of these two, that is, of the demand for experience and the search for truth. One can see why, because when you are seeking, you go to various teachers, read various books, join various cults, follow various gurus and all the rest of it, like window-shopping. Such a search has no meaning whatsoever.
So when you are enquiring into this question, "What is a religious mind, and what is the quality of mind that is no longer experiencing anything at all?" - you must find out if the mind can be free from the demand for experience and can completely end all seeking. One has to investigate without any motive, without any purpose, the facts of time and if there is a timeless state. To enquire into that means to have no belief whatsoever, not to be committed to any religion, to any so-called spiritual organization, not to follow any guru, and therefore to have no authority whatsoever - including that of the speaker especially. Because you are very easily influenced, you are terribly gullible, though you may be sophisticated, may know a great deal; but you are always eager, always wanting, and therefore are gullible.
So a mind that is enquiring into the question of what is religion, must be entirely free of any form of belief, any form of fear; because fear, as we explained the other day, is a distorting factor, bringing about violence and aggression. Therefore the mind that is enquiring into the quality of the religious state and movement, must be free of this. That demands great honesty and a great sense of humility.
For most of us, vanity is one of the major impediments. Because we think we know, because we have read a great deal, because we have committed ourselves, have practised this or that system, followed some guru peddling his philosophy, we think we know, at least a little bit, and that's the beginning of vanity. When you are enquiring into such an extraordinary question, there must be the freedom of actually not knowing a thing about it. You really don't know, do you? You don't know what truth is, what God is - if there is such a thing - or what is a truly religious mind. You have read about it, people have talked about it for millennia, have built monasteries, but actually they are living on other people's knowledge, experience and propaganda. To find out, surely one must put aside all that completely, and therefore the enquiry into all this is a very serious matter. If you want to play with it, there are all kinds of so-called spiritual, religious entertainments, but they have no value whatsoever to a serious mind.
To enquire into what is a religious mind, we must be free of our conditioning, of our Christianity, of our Buddhism, with all the propaganda of thousands of years, so that the mind is really free to observe. That is very difficult because we are afraid to be alone, to stand alone. We want security, both outwardly and inwardly; therefore we depend on people, whether it is the priest, or the leader, or the guru who says: "I have experienced, that is why I know." One has to stand completely alone - not isolated. There is a vast difference between isolation and being completely alone, integral. Isolation is a state of mind in which relationship ceases, when in your daily life and activity you have actually built a wall around yourself, consciously or unconsciously, so as not to be hurt. That isolation obviously prevents every form of relationship. Aloneness implies a mind that does not depend on another psychologically, is not attached to any person; which does not mean that there is no love - love is not attachment. Aloneness implies a mind that is deeply, inwardly without any sense of fear and therefore without any sense of conflict.
If you go as far as that, then we can proceed to find out what discipline means. For most of us discipline is a form of drill, of repetition; either overcoming an obstacle, or resisting or suppressing, controlling, shaping, conforming - all that is implied in the word discipline. The root meaning of that word is to learn; a mind that is willing to learn - not to conform - must be curious, must have great interest, and a mind that already knows, cannot possibly learn. So discipline means to learn why one controls, why one suppresses, why there is fear, why one conforms, compares, and is therefore in conflict. That very learning brings about order; not order according to a design or pattern, but in the very enquiry into the confusion, into the disorder, there is order. Most of us are confused for a dozen reasons, which we needn't go into for the moment. One has to learn about confusion, about the disorderly life one leads; not try to bring order into the confusion, or into the disorder, but to learn about it. Then, as you are learning, order comes into being.
Order is a living thing, not mechanical, and order surely is virtue. A mind that is confused, conforming, imitating, is not orderly - it is in conflict. And a mind that is in conflict is disorderly and therefore such a mind has no virtue. Out of this enquiry, out of learning, comes order, and order is virtue. Please observe it in yourself, see how disordered one is in one's life, so confused, so mechanical. In that state one tries to find a moral way of living, which will be orderly and sane. How can a mind that is confused, conforming, imitative, have any kind of order, any kind of virtue? The social morality, as you observe, is totally immoral; it may be respectable, but what is respectable is generally disorderly.
Order is necessary, because only out of order can there be a total action and action is life. But our action brings disorder; there is political action, religious action, business action, family action - they are fragmentary actions. And naturally such action is contradictory. You are a businessman and at home you are a kindly human being - at least you pretend to be; there is contradiction and therefore there is disorder. A mind that is in disorder cannot possibly understand what virtue is. And nowadays, when there is permissiveness of every kind, virtue and order are denied. The religious mind must have this order, not according to a pattern, or a design laid down by you or by another. But that order, that sense of moral rectitude, comes only when you understand the disorder, the confusion, the mess that one lives in.
Now all this is to lay the foundation for meditation. If you don't lay the foundations, meditation then becomes an escape. You can play with that kind of meditation endlessly. And that is what most people are doing - leading ordinary, confused, messy lives and somehow finding a corner to bring about a quiet mind. And there are all these people who promise to give you a quiet mind, whatever that may mean.
So for a serious mind - and it is a very serious thing, not a game - one must have this freedom from all belief, from all commitments, because one is committed to the whole of life, not to one fragment of it. Most of us are committed to physical or political revolution, or to a religious activity, to some kind of religious, monastic life and so on. Those are all fragmentary commitments. We are talking of freedom, so that you can commit your whole being, your whole energy, vitality and passion to the whole of life, not to one part of it. Then we can proceed to find out what it means to meditate.
I don't know if you have gone into this at all. Probably some of you have played with it, have tried to control your thoughts, followed various systems, but that is not meditation. One has to dispose of the systems one has been offered: Zen, Transcendental Meditation, the various things that have been brought over from India and Asia, in which people are caught. One has to go into this question of systems, of methods, and I hope you will; we are sharing this problem together.
When you have a system to follow, what happens to the mind? What do systems and methods imply - a guru? I don't know why they call themselves gurus - I can't find a strong enough word to deny that whole world of gurus, of their authority, because they think they know. A man who says "I know", such a man does not know. Or if a man says, "I have experienced truth", distrust him completely. These are the people who offer systems. A system implies practice, following, repetition, changing "what actually is" and therefore increasing your conflict. Systems make the mind mechanical, they don't give you freedom, they may promise freedom at the end, but freedom is at the beginning, not at the end. To enquire into the truth of any system, if you have no freedom at the beginning, then you are bound to end up with a system and therefore with a mind which is incapable of subtlety, swiftness and sensitivity. So one can dispose entirely of all systems.
What is important is not controlling thought, but understanding it, understanding the origin, the beginning of thought, which is in yourself. That is, the brain stores up memories - you can observe this yourself, you don't have to read books about it. If it had not stored up memories it would not be able to think at all. That memory is the result of experience, of knowledge - yours, or of the community, of the family, of the race and so on. Thought springs from that storehouse of memory. So thought is never free, it is always old, there is no such thing as freedom of thought. Thought can never be free in itself, it can talk about freedom, but in itself it is the result of past memories, experiences and knowledge; therefore it is old. Yet one must have this accumulation of knowledge, otherwise one could not function, one could not speak to another, could not go home, and so on. Knowledge is essential.
In meditation one has to find out whether there is an end to knowledge and so to freedom from the known. If meditation is a continuation of knowledge, is the continuation of everything that man has accumulated, then there is no freedom. There is freedom only when there is an understanding of the function of knowledge and therefore freedom from the known.
We are enquiring into the field of knowledge, where it has its function and where it becomes an impediment to further enquiry. While the brain cells continue to operate, they can only operate in the field of knowledge. That is the only thing the brain can do, to function in the field of experience, of knowledge in the field of time - which is the past. Meditation is to find out if there is a field which is not already contaminated by the known.
If I meditate and continue with what I have already learnt, with what I already know, then I am living in the past, within the field of my conditioning. In that there is no freedom. I may decorate the prison in which I live, I may do all kinds of things in that prison, but there is still a limitation, a barrier. So the mind has to find out whether the brain cells, which have developed through millennia, can be totally quiet, and respond to a dimension they do not know. Which means, can the mind be totally still?
This has been the problem of all religious people throughout the centuries; they realize that you must have a very quiet mind, because then only can you see. If you are chattering, if your mind is constantly in movement, rushing all over the place, obviously it cannot look, it cannot listen totally. So they say, "Control it, hold it, put it in a prison; they have not found a way of bringing about a mind that is completely and utterly quiet. They say, "Don't yield to any desire, don't look at a woman, don't look at the beautiful hills, the trees and the beauty of the earth, because if you do, it might remind you of a woman, or a man. Therefore control, hold on, and concentrate." When you do all that, you are in conflict, and therefore there has to be more control, more subjugation. This has been going on for millennia, because they realize they must have a quiet mind. Now, how does the mind become quiet? - without effort, without control, without giving it a frontier? The moment you ask "how" you are introducing a system. Therefore there is no "how".
Can the mind become quiet? I don't know what you are going to do about it when you see the problem, when you see the necessity, the truth of having this delicate, subtle mind, which is absolutely quiet. How is it to happen? This is the problem of meditation, because only such a mind is a religious mind. It is only such a mind that sees the whole of life as a unit, as a unitary movement, not fragmented. Therefore such a mind acts totally, not fragmentarily, because it acts out of complete stillness.
The foundation is a life of complete relationship, a life that is orderly and therefore virtuous, a life that is extraordinarily simple inwardly, and therefore totally austere - the austerity of deep simplicity, which means that the mind is not in conflict. When you have laid that foundation, easily, without any effort - because the moment you introduce effort there is conflict - you see the truth of it. Therefore it is the perception of "what is" that brings about a radical change. It is only the still mind that understands that in a quiet mind there is a movement that is totally different, that is of a different dimension, of a different quality. That can never be put into words, because it is indescribable. What can be described is what comes up to this point, the point when you have laid the foundation and seen the necessity, the truth, and the beauty of a still mind.
For most of us, beauty is in something, in a building, in a cloud, in the shape of a tree, in a beautiful face. Is beauty "out there", or is it a quality of mind that has no self-centred activity? Because like joy, the understanding of beauty is essential in meditation. Beauty is really the total abandonment of the "me", and the eyes that have abandoned the "me" can see the trees, the beauty of it all, and the loveliness of the cloud; that happens when there is no centre as the "me". It happens to each one of us, doesn't it? - when you see a lovely mountain, when you come upon it suddenly, there it is! Everything has been pushed aside except the majesty of that hill. That mountain, that tree, absorbs you completely.
It is like a child with a toy - the toy absorbs the child, and when the toy is destroyed the child is back again in whatever he is doing, in his mischief, in his crying. Likewise with us: when you see the mountain, or the single tree on a hill top, it absorbs you. And we want to be absorbed by something, by an idea, by an activity, by a commitment, by a belief, or we want to be absorbed by another; which is like the child with a toy.
So beauty means sensitivity - a body that is sensitive, which means the right diet, the right way of living, and you have all this, if you have gone that far. I hope you will, or are doing it now; then the mind will inevitably and naturally, unknowingly, become quiet. You can't make the mind quiet, because you are the mischief maker, you are yourself disturbed, anxious, confused - how can you make the mind quiet? But when you understand what quietness is, when you understand what confusion is, what sorrow is and whether sorrow can ever end, and when you understand pleasure, then out of that comes an extraordinarily quiet mind; you don't have to seek it. You must begin at the beginning and the first step is the last step, and this is meditation.
Questioner: When you make the analogy of the mountain, the hills, the beautiful sky - that's wrong for these people, that's not the analogy for them - the analogy is the dirt.
Krishnamurti: Right, take that - the analogy of the dirty streets of New York, the analogy of squalor, poverty, the ghettos, the wars to which each one of us has contributed. You don't feel that way, because you have separated yourself, isolated yourself; therefore, having no relationship with another, you become corrupt and allow corruption to spread in the world. That's why this corruption, this pollution, these wars, this hatred, cannot be stopped by a political or religious system, or by any organization. You have to change. Don't you see this? You have to cease completely to be what you are. Not through will - meditation is the emptying of the mind of will then a totally different action takes place.
Questioner: If one can have the privilege of becoming totally aware, how can we then help those who are conditioned, who have a deep resentment in them?
Krishnamurti: Why, if I may ask, do you use the word privilege? What is there sacred or privileged about being aware? That's a natural thing, isn't it, to be aware? If you are aware of your own conditioning, of the turmoil, the dirt, the squalor, the war, the hatred, if you are aware of all that, you will establish a relationship with another so complete, that you are related to every other human being in the world. You understand this? If I am related to somebody completely, totally - not as an idea or an image - then I am related to every human being in the world. Then I will see I will not hurt another - they are hurting themselves. Then go, preach, talk about it - not with the desire to help another, you understand? - that's the most terrible thing to say, "I want to help another". Who are you to help another? - including the speaker.
Sir, look, the beauty of the tree or the flower doesn't want to help you, it is there; it is for you to look at the squalor or at the beauty, and if you are incapable of looking at it, then find out why you have become so indifferent, so callous, so shallow and empty. If you find out that, then you are in a state where the waters of life flow, you don't have to do anything.
Questioner: What is the relationship between seeing things exactly as they are and consciousness?
Krishnamurti: You only know consciousness by its content, and its content is what is happening in the world, of which you are a part. To empty all that is not to have no consciousness, but a totally different dimension. You cannot speculate about that dimension - leave that to the scientists, to the philosophers. What we can do is to find out whether it is possible to uncondition the mind by becoming aware, by becoming totally attentive.
Questioner: I don't know myself what love is or what truth is, or what God is, but you describe it as, "Love is God", instead of "Love is love". Can you explain why you say "Love is God"?
Krishnamurti: I didn't say love is God.
Questioner: I read one of your books...
Krishnamurti: I'm sorry, don't read books! (Laughter) That word has been used so much, is so loaded by man's despairs and hopes. You have your God, the Communists have their gods. So find out, if I may suggest, what love is. You can only find out what love is, by knowing what it is not. Not knowing intellectually, but actually in life putting aside what it is not - jealousy, ambition and greed, all the division that goes on in life, the me and the you, we and they, the black and the white. Unfortunately you won't do it because it needs energy, and energy comes only when you observe actually what is and don't run away from it. When you see actually what is, then in the observing of it, you have the energy to go beyond it. You cannot go beyond it if you are trying to escape from it, to translate it, or to overcome it. Just observe actually what is, then you have abundance of energy, then you can find out what love is. Love is not pleasure, and to really find that out, inwardly, for yourself, do you know what that means? It means that there is no fear, that there is no attachment, no dependency, but a relationship in which there is no division.
Questioner: Could you talk about the role of the artist in society - does he serve a function beyond his own?
Krishnamurti: Who is an artist? Someone who paints a picture, writes a poem, who wants to express himself through painting or through writing a book or a play? Why do we divide the artist from the rest of us? - or the intellectual from the rest of us? We have placed the intellectual at one level, the artist perhaps at a higher level, and the scientist at a still higher level. And then we say, "What is their role in society?" The question is not, what is their role, but what is your role in society; because you have created this mess. What is your role? Find out, Sir. That is, find out why you live within this world of squalor, hatred and misery; apparently it does not touch you.
Look, you have listened to these talks, shared some of the things together, understood, let's hope, a great deal. Then you become a centre of right relationship and therefore it is your responsibility to change this terrible, corrupt, destructive society.
Questioner: Sir, could you go into psychological time.
Krishnamurti: Time is old age, time is sorrow, time doesn't heed. There is chronological time by the watch. That must exist, otherwise you won't be able to catch your bus, cook a meal, and all the rest of it. But there is another kind of time, which we have accepted. That is, "Tomorrow I will be, tomorrow I will change, tomorrow I will become; psychologically we have created time - tomorrow. Is there a tomorrow, psychologically? That question fills us with dread to ask seriously. Because we want tomorrow: "I shall have the pleasure of meeting you tomorrow, I am going to understand tomorrow, my life will be different tomorrow, I will realize enlightenment tomorrow." Therefore tomorrow becomes the most important thing in our life. You have had sex yesterday, all the pleasures, all the agonies - whatever it is - and you want it tomorrow, because you want that same pleasure repeated.
Put that question to yourself and find out the truth of it. "Is there a tomorrow at all?" - except in thought which projects tomorrow. So tomorrow is the invention of thought as time, and if there is no tomorrow psychologically, what happens in life today? Then there is a tremendous revolution, isn't there? Then your whole action undergoes a radical change, doesn't it? Then you are completely whole now, not projecting from the past, through the present, into the future. That means to live, dying every day. Do it, and you will find out what it means to live completely today. Isn't that what love is? You don't say, "I will love tomorrow", do you? You love or you don't love. Love has no time, only sorrow has time - sorrow being thought, as in pleasure. So one has to find out for oneself what time is, and find out if there is a "no tomorrow". That is to live, then there is a life which is eternal, because eternity has no time.
Conversations with Alain Naude
1st Conversation with Alain Naude - Malibu California
27th March 1971
The Circus of Man's Struggle
Naude: You speak about the whole of life. When we look about us there is so much disorder everywhere; it seems that people are so confused. In the world we see that there is war, ecological disorder, political and social disorder, crime, and all the evils of indusrialization and overpopulation. And it seems that the more people try to solve these problems the more they augment. Then there is man himself, who is full of problems. He has not only the problems of the world about him, but is full of problems inwardly - loneliness, despair, jealousy, anger - all this we may call confusion. And presently he dies. Now we have always been told that there is something else, which has variously been called God, eternity, creation. And about this man knows nothing. He has tried to live for this, in relation to this; but it has again made problems. It seems from what you have said so many times that one must find a way of dealing with these three sets of problems, these three aspects of life at the same time, because these are the problems confronting man. Is there a way to ask the question properly so that it will answer these three sets of problems at the same time?
Krishnamurti: First of all, Sir, why do we make this division? Or is there only one movement which must be taken on the wave itself? So first let's find out why we have divided this whole existence into the world outside of me, the world inside of me, and something beyond me. Does this division exist because of the chaos outwardly and are we only concerned with the outer chaos, and totally neglect the inner chaos? Not finding a solution for the outer, or for the inner, we then try to find a solution in a belief, in the divine?
Krishnamurti: So in asking a question of this kind, are we dealing with the three things separately, or as a total movement?
Naude: How can we make them into a unitary movement? How are they related? What is the action in man which will make them the same?
Krishnamurti: I wouldn't come to that yet. I would ask: why has man divided the world, his whole existence, into these three categories? Why? - and from there move. Now why have I, as a human being, divided the world outside of me from the world inside me, and from the world which I am trying to grasp - of which I know nothing - and to which I give all my despairing hope?
Krishnamurti: Now why do I do this? Tentatively we are asking: is it that we have not been able to solve the outer with its chaos, confusion, destruction, brutality, violence and all the horrors that are going on, and therefore we turn to the inner and hope thereby to solve the outer? And not being able to solve the inner chaos, the inner insufficiency, the inner brutality, violence and all the rest of it, not being able to solve anything there either, then we move away from both, the outer and the inner, to some other dimension?
Naude: Yes, it is like that. That is what we do.
Krishnamurti: That is what is happening all the time around us and in us.
Naude: Yes. There are the problems outside which engender the problems inside. Not being able to deal with either, or both, we create the hope of some other, some third state, which we call God.
Krishnamurti: Yes, an outside agency.
Naude: An outside agency which will be the consolation, the final solution. But it is also a fact that there are things which are really outer problems: the roof leaks, the sky is full of pollution, the rivers are drying up, there are such problems. And there are wars - they are visible outer problems. There are also problems which we think to be inner problems, our secret and closed longings, fears and worries.
Naude: There is the world, and there is man's reaction to it, man's living in it. And so there are these two entities - at least in a practical sort of way we can say there are. And so probably the trying to solve practical problems overflows into the inner state of man and engenders problems there.
Krishnamurti: That means we are still keeping the outer and the inner as two separate movements.
Naude: Yes, we are. We do.
Krishnamurti: And I feel that is a totally wrong approach. The roof does leak and the world is overpopulated, there is pollution, there are wars, there is every kind of mischief going on. And not being able to solve that we turn inward; not being able to solve the inward issues we turn to something outer, still further away from all this. Whereas if we could treat the whole of this existence as one unitary movement, then perhaps we would be able to solve all these problems intelligently and reasonably and in order.
Naude: Yes. It seems that is what you speak about. Would you mind telling us how these three problems are really one thing?
Krishnamurti: I am coming to that, I am coming to it. The world outside of me is created by me - not the trees, not the clouds, the bees and the beauty of the landscape - but human existence in relationship, which is called society, that is created by you and by me. So the world is me and I am the world. I think that is the first thing that must be established: not as an intellectual or an abstract fact, but in actual feeling, in actual realization. This is a fact, not a supposition, not an intellectual concept, but it is a fact that the world is me and I am the world. The world being the society in which I live, with its culture, morality, inequality, all the chaos that is going on in society, that is myself in action. And the culture is what I have created and what I am caught in. I think that is an irrevocable and an absolute fact.
Naude: Yes. How is it that people don't see this enough? We have politicians, we have ecologists, we have economists, we have soldiers all trying to solve the outside problems simply as outer problems.
Krishnamurti: Probably because of a lack of the right kind of education: specialization, the desire to conquer and go to the moon and play golf there, and so on and so on! We always want to alter the outer hoping thereby to change the inner. "Create the right environment" - the communists have said it a hundred times - "then the human mind will change according to that."
Naude: That is what they say. In fact, every great university, with all its departments, with all its specialists, one could almost say that these great universities are founded and built on the belief that the world can be changed by a certain amount of specialized knowledge in different departments.
Krishnamurti: Yes. I think we miss this basic thing, which is: the world is me and I am the world. I think that feeling, not as an idea, that feeling brings a totally different way of looking at this whole problem.
Naude: It is an enormous revolution. To see the problem as one problem, the problem of man and not the problem of his environment, that is an enormous step, which people will not take.
Krishnamurti: People won't take any step. They are used to this outward organization and disregard totally what is happening inwardly. So when one realizes that the world is me and I am the world, then my action is not separative, is not the individual opposed to the community; nor the importance of the individual and his salvation. When one realizes that the world is me and I am the world, then whatever action takes place, whatever change takes place, that will change the whole of the consciousness of man.
Naude: Would you like to explain that?
Krishnamurti: I, as a human being, realize that the world is me and I am the world: realize, feel deeply committed, am passionately aware of this fact.
Naude: Yes, that my action is in fact the world; my behaviour is the only world there is, because the events in the world are behaviour. And behaviour is the inner. So the inner and the outer are one because the events of history, the events of life, are in fact this point of contact between the inner and the outer. It is in fact the behaviour of man.
Krishnamurti: So the consciousness of the world is my consciousness.
Krishnamurti: My consciousness is the world. Now the crisis is in this consciousness, not in organization, not in bettering the roads - tearing down the hills to build more roads.
Naude: Bigger tanks, intercontinental missiles.
Krishnamurti: My consciousness is the world and the consciousness of the world is me. When there is a change in this consciousness it affects the whole consciousness of the world. I don't know if you see that?
Naude: It is an extraordinary fact.
Krishnamurti: It is a fact.
Naude: It is consciousness that is in disorder; there is no disorder anywhere else.
Naude: Therefore the ills of the world are the ills of human consciousness, and the ills of human consciousness are my ills, my malady, my disorder.
Krishnamurti: Now when I realize that my consciousness is the consciousness of the world, and the consciousness of the world is me, whatever change that takes place in me affects the whole of consciousness.
Naude: To this people always say: that's all very well, I may change, but there will still be a war in Indo-China!
Krishnamurti: Quite right, there will be.
Naude: And ghettos and overpopulation.
Krishnamurti: Of course, there will be. But if each one of us saw the truth of this, that the consciousness of the world is mine, and mine is the world's; and if each one of us felt the responsibility of that - the politician, the scientist, the engineer, the bureaucrat, the business man - if everybody felt that, what then? And it is our job to make them feel this; that is the function of the religious man, surely?
Naude: This is an enormous thing.
Krishnamurti: Wait, let me go on. So then it is one movement. It is not an individual movement and his salvation. It is the salvation, if you like to use that word, of the whole of man's consciousness.
Naude: The wholeness, and the health of consciousness itself, which is one thing and in which is contained what appears to be the outer, and what appears to be the inner.
Krishnamurti: That's right. Let's keep to that one point.
Naude: So what you are speaking about is in fact that health, that sanity, and that wholeness of consciousness, which always has been in fact an indivisible entity.
Krishnamurti: Yes, that's right. Now when the people who want to create a different kind of world, the educators, the writers, the organisers, when they realize the world as it is now is their responsibility, then the whole of the consciousness of man begins to change. Which is what is happening in another direction, only they are emphasizing organization, division; they are doing exactly the same thing.
Naude: In a negative way.
Krishnamurti: In a destructive way. So from that the question arises: can this human consciousness, which is me - which is the community, which is the society, which is the culture, which is all the horrors that are produced by me in the context of the society, in the culture which is me - can this consciousness undergo a radical change? That is the question. Not escape into the supposed divine, not escape. Because when we understand this change in consciousness the divine is there, you don't have to seek it.
Naude: Would you please explain what this change in consciousness consists of?
Krishnamurti: That's what we are going to talk about now.
Naude: And then perhaps we can ask about the divine if it arises.
Krishnamurti: (Pause) First of all, is there any possibility of a change in consciousness? Or is any change made consciously no change at all? To talk about a change in consciousness implies changing from this to that.
Naude: And both this and that are within consciousness.
Krishnamurti: That is what I want to establish first. That when we say there must be a change in consciousness, it is still within the field of consciousness.
Naude: The way we see the trouble, and the way we see the solution, which we call change - that is all within the same area.
Krishnamurti: All within the same area and therefore no change at all. That is, the content of consciousness is consciousness and the two are not separate. Let's be clear on that point too. Consciousness is made up of all the things that have been collected by man as experience, as knowledge, as misery, confusion, destruction, violence - all that is consciousness.
Naude: Plus so-called solutions.
Krishnamurti: God, no-God, various theories about God, all that is consciousness. When we talk about change in consciousness we are still changing the pieces from one corner to the other.
Krishnamurti: Moving one quality into another corner of the field.
Naude: Juggling with the contents of this huge box.
Krishnamurti: Yes, juggling with the contents. And therefore...
Naude: We are changing variables in the same set of things.
Krishnamurti: That's right. You have put it perfectly, better than I have. When we talk about changing, we are really thinking of juggling with the contents - right? Now that implies a juggler and the thing with which he is juggling. But it is still within the field of consciousness.
Naude: There are two questions which arise. Are you saying that there is no consciousness at all outside of the content of consciousness? And secondly, that there is no entity at all to juggle there is no entity called `me' outside of this content of consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Obviously not.
Naude: These are two big statements, Sir. Would you be kind enough to explain them?
Krishnamurti: What is the first question?
Naude: The first thing you are saying, if I have understood correctly, is: that this consciousness which we are discussing, which is all we are and all we have, and which we have seen is the problem itself, you are saying that this consciousness is its very content, and that there is nothing to be called consciousness outside of the content of consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Absolutely right.
Naude: Are you saying, outside of man's problems, outside of his misery, outside of his thinking, outside of the formulations of his mind, there is nothing at all we call consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Absolutely right.
Naude: This is a big statement. Would you explain this? We all think - and this has been postulated by Indian religions since the beginning of time - that there is a super-consciousness outside of this shell which is the consciousness we are talking about.
Krishnamurti: To find out if there is something beyond this consciousness, I must understand the content of this consciousness. The mind must go beyond itself. Then I shall find out if there is something other than this or not. But to stipulate that there is has no meaning, it is just a speculation.
Naude: So are you saying that what we commonly call consciousness, and what we are talking about, is the very content of this consciousness? The container and contained are an indivisible thing?
Krishnamurti: That's right.
Naude: And the second point you are making is: that there is no entity to decide, to will, and to juggle, when the contents to be juggled are absent.
Krishnamurti: That is, my consciousness is the consciousness of the world, and the consciousness of the world is me. This is a truth, not just my invention or dependent on your acceptance. It is an absolute truth. Also the content is consciousness: without the content there is no consciousness. Now when we want to change the content we are juggling.
Naude: The content is juggling itself, because you have a third point, that there is nobody outside of this content to do any juggling at all.
Krishnamurti: Quite right.
Naude: So the juggler and the content are one, and the container and the content are one.
Krishnamurti: The thinker who within this consciousness says that he must change, is consciousness trying to change. I think that is fairly clear.
Naude: So that the world, the consciousness and the entity who supposedly will change it, are all the same entity, masquerading, as it were in three different roles.
Krishnamurti: If that is so, then what is a human being to do to bring about a total emptying of the content of consciousness? How is this particular consciousness, which is me and the world with all its miseries, how is that to undergo complete change? How is the mind - which is consciousness, with all its content, with the accumulated knowledge of the past - how is that mind to empty itself of all its content?
Naude: But people will say, hearing what you have said, understanding it imperfectly, they will say: can that consciousness be emptied, and when that consciousness is emptied, supposing this was possible, doesn't that reduce one to a state of considerable vagueness and inertia?
Krishnamurti: On the contrary. To have come to this point requires a great deal of enquiry, a great deal of reason, logic, and with it comes intelligence.
Naude: Because some people may think that the empty consciousness, which you speak about, is something like the consciousness of the child at birth.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir, not at all. Let's go slowly at this, step by step. Let's begin again. My consciousness is the consciousness of the world. The world is me and the content of my consciousness is the content of the world. The content of consciousness is consciousness itself.
Naude: And also that is the entity who says he is conscious.
Krishnamurti: Now I am asking myself, realizing I am that, what is then changed?
Naude: What is changed which will solve these three sets of problems that are really one?
Krishnamurti: What is implied by change? What is implied by revolution? - not physical revolution.
Naude: We have gone beyond that.
Krishnamurti: Physical revolution is the most absurd, primitive, unintelligent destruction.
Naude: It is fragmentation in this consciousness.
Naude: Are you asking what it is which will restore order to this consciousness? - an order which is whole.
Krishnamurti: Can there be order within this consciousness?
Naude: Is that the next step?
Krishnamurti: That is what you are asking.
Naude: Yes. Since we see that the disorder, which is the sorrow
and the suffering, is the disorder in this indivisible consciousness, the next question must be: what are we going to do about it?
Naude: And since there is no entity who can do something about it...
Krishnamurti: Wait, don't jump to that immediately.
Naude: Because we have seen that the disorder is the entity.
Krishnamurti: Do we realize that? No. Do we realize that the thinker is part of this consciousness and is not a separate entity outside this consciousness? Do we realize that the observer, seeing the content, examining, analysing, looking at it all, is the content itself? That the observer is the content?
Krishnamurti: But stating a truth is one thing, the realization of it is another.
Naude: That's right. I think we do not fully understand that there is no entity separate from this thing we are trying to change.
Krishnamurti: When we talk of change it seems to imply that there is an entity separate within the consciousness, who can bring about a transformation.
Naude: We think that somehow we can step aside from the mess and look at it and juggle with it. We always tell ourselves, "Well, I'm still here to do something about it." And so we juggle more and more.
Krishnamurti: More mess, more confusion.
Naude: A change of decor and things get worse.
Krishnamurti: The consciousness of the world is my consciousness. In that consciousness is all the content of human endeavour, human misery, human cruelty, mischief, all human activities are within that consciousness. Within that consciousness man has brought about this entity which says, "I am separate from my consciousness." The observer there says, "I am different from the thing observed." The thinker says, "My thoughts are different from me." First, is that so?
Naude: We all believe that the two entities are different. We say to ourselves, "I must not be angry, I must not be sorrowful, I must improve, I must change myself." We are saying this either tacitly or consciously all the time.
Krishnamurti: Because we think these two are separate. Now we are trying to point out that they are not separate, that they are one, because if there is no thought at all there is no thinker.
Naude: That is right.
Krishnamurti: If there is nothing observed there is no observer.
Naude: There are a hundred observers and a hundred thinkers during the course of the day.
Krishnamurti: I am just saying: is that so? I observe that red-tailed hawk flying by. I see it. When I observe that bird, am I observing with the image I have about that bird, or am I merely observing? Is there only mere observation? If there is an image, which is words, memory and all the rest of it, then there is an observer watching the bird go by. If there is only observation, then there is no observer.
Naude: Would you explain why there is an observer when I look at the bird with an image?
Krishnamurti: Because the observer is the past. The observer is the censor, is the accumulated knowledge, experience, memory; that is the observer, with that he observes the world. His accumulated knowledge is different from your accumulated knowledge.
Naude: Are you saying that this total consciousness which is the problem, is not different from the observer who is going to deal with it, and this would seem to bring us to a deadlock, because the thing we are trying to change is the person trying to change it? And the question is: what then?
Krishnamurti: That is just it. If the observer is the observed, what is the nature of change in consciousness? That is what we are trying to find out. We realize that there must be a radical revolution in consciousness. How is this to take place? Is it to take place through the observer? When the observer is separate from the observed, then this change is merely juggling with the various contents of consciousness.
Naude: That's right.
Krishnamurti: Now let's go slowly. One realizes that the observer is the observed; the thinker is the thought, that is a fact. Let's stop there a minute.
Naude: Are you saying that the thinker is the totality of all these thoughts which create the confusion?
Krishnamurti: The thinker is the thought, whether it is many, or one.
Naude: But there is a difference, because the thinker thinks of himself as some sort of crystallized concrete entity. Even through this discussion, the thinker sees himself as the concrete entity to whom all these thoughts, all this confusion belongs.
Krishnamurti: That concrete entity, as you say, is the result of thought.
Naude: That concrete entity is...
Krishnamurti: ...put together by thought.
Naude: Put together by his thoughts.
Krishnamurti: By thought, not "his", by thought.
Krishnamurti: And thought sees that there must be a change. This concrete entity, which is the result of thought, hopes to change the content.
Krishnamurti: And so there is a battle between the observer and the observed. The battle consists of trying to control, change, shape, suppress, give a new shape, all that, that is the battle that goes on all the time in our life. But when the mind understands the truth that the observer, the experiencer, the thinker, is the thought, is the experience, is the observed, then what takes place? - knowing that there must be a radical change.
Naude: That is a fact.
Krishnamurti: And when the observer, who wants to change, realizes he is part of what has to be changed?
Naude: That he is in fact a thief pretending to be a policeman to catch himself.
Krishnamurti: Right. So what takes place?
Naude: You see, Sir, people don't believe this; they say, "By exercising will I have stopped smoking, by exercising will I have got up earlier, I have lost weight and I have learnt languages; they say, "I am the master of my destiny, I can change" - everybody really believes this. Everybody believes that he is capable somehow of exercising will upon his own life, upon his own behaviour, and his own thinking.
Krishnamurti: Which means, one has to understand the meaning of effort. What it is, why effort exists at all. Is that the way to bring about a transformation in consciousness? Through effort, through will?
Krishnamurti: Which means what? Change through conflict. When there is the operation of will, it is a form of resistance; to overcome, to suppress, to deny, to escape - all that is will in action. That means life is then a constant battle.
Naude: Are you saying that simply one element in this consciousness is dominating another?
Krishnamurti: Obviously. One fragment dominates another fragment.
Naude: And that there is still conflict? There is still disorder by that very fact. Yes, this is clear.
Krishnamurti: So, the central fact still remains. There must be a radical transformation in consciousness and of consciousness. Now, how is this to be brought about? That is the real question.
Krishnamurti: We have approached it by thinking that one fragment is superior to the rest, to the other fragments within the field of consciousness.
Naude: Indeed we have.
Krishnamurti: Now that fragment which we call superior, intelligence, intellect, reason, logic, is the product of the many other fragments. One fragment has assumed authority over other fragments. But it is still a fragment and therefore there is a battle between it and the many other fragments. So is it possible to see that this fragmentation does not solve our problems?
Naude: Because it causes the division and the conflict, which right from the start was our problem.
Krishnamurti: That is, when there is division between man and woman there is conflict. When there is a division between Germany and England or Russia, there is conflict.
Naude: And all this is division within consciousness itself. Also, the exercise of will upon consciousness is again a division within consciousness.
Krishnamurti: So one has to be free of the idea that through will you can change the content. That is important to understand.
Naude: Yes, that the exercise of will is simply the tyranny of one fragment over another.
Krishnamurti: That's simple. One also realizes that to be free of will is to be free of this fragmentation.
Naude: But religions in the world have always called upon will to come in and do something.
Krishnamurti: Yes. But we are denying the whole of that.
Krishnamurti: So what is a mind to do, or not to do, when it sees will is not the way, when it sees that one fragment taking charge over another fragment is still fragmentation and therefore conflict? - and therefore still within the field of misery. Then what is such a mind to do?
Naude: Yes, this is really the question.
Krishnamurti: Now, for such a mind is there anything to do?
Naude: When you say that, one says, "If there is nothing to do then the circus goes on."
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. Look! The circus goes on only when there is the exercise of will.
Naude: Are you saying that the circus that we have been discussing and trying to change, is in fact made up of will?
Krishnamurti: My will against your will, and so on.
Naude: My will against another part of me.
Krishnamurti: And so on.
Naude: My desire to smoke...
Krishnamurti: That's just it. A mind which starts by saying, "I must change," realizes that one fragment asserting it must change is still in conflict with another fragment, which is part of consciousness. It realizes that. Therefore it also realizes that will, to which man has become accustomed, which he takes for granted is the only way to bring about change...
Naude:...is not the factor of change.
Krishnamurti: Is not the factor of change. Therefore such a mind has come to quite a different height.
Naude: It has cleared up a great deal.
Krishnamurti: A vast quantity of rubbish.
Naude: It has cleared up the division between the inner and the outer; the division between consciousness and its content. It has cleared up also the division between the conscious entity and the consciousness belonging to him and the various fragments. And it has cleared up the division between different fragments in that consciousness.
Krishnamurti: So what has happened? What has happened to the mind that has seen all this? Not theoretically but actually felt it and says, "No more will in my life". Which means no more resistance in my life.
Naude: This is so extraordinary it is like finding the sky at the bottom, one day. It is such a great change, it is difficult to say what the extent of that change is.
Krishnamurti: It has already taken place! That is my point.
Naude: You are saying that there is no more will, there is no more effort, there is no more division between the outside and the inside...
Krishnamurti: ...no more fragmentation within consciousness.
Naude: No more fragmentation.
Krishnamurti: That is very important to understand, Sir.
Naude: No more observer separate from what he has observed.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? No fragmentation within consciousness. Which means consciousness only exists when there is conflict between fragments.
Naude: I am not sure that I have understood that. Consciousess is its fragments?
Krishnamurti: Consciousness is its fragments and consciousness is the battle between the fragments.
Naude: Are you saying that there are only fragments because they are in conflict, in battle? When they are not battling together they are not fragments, because they are not acting as parts. The acting of one part on another ceases. That is what it means when you say fragmentation. That is what fragmentation
Krishnamurti: See what has taken place! N
aude: The fragments disappear when they are not acting against each other.
Krishnamurti: Naturally! When Pakistan and India...
Naude: ...are no longer fighting, there is no more Pakistan and India.
Naude: Are you saying that that is the change?
Krishnamurti: Wait, I don't know yet. We'll go into it. A human mind has realized that the world is "me" and I am the world, my consciousness is the consciousness of the world, and the world's consciousness is me. The content of consciousness with all its miseries and so on is consciousness. And within that consciousness there are a thousand fragmentations. One fragment of those many fragments becomes the authority, the censor, the observer, the examiner, the thinker.
Naude: The boss.
Krishnamurti: The boss. And so he maintains fragmentation. See the importance of this! The moment he assumes the authority, he must maintain fragmentation.
Naude: Yes, obviously. Because it is a part of consciousness acting on the rest of consciousness.
Krishnamurti: Therefore he must maintain conflict. And conflict is consciousness.
Naude: You have said that the fragments are consciousness; and are you now saying that the fragments are in fact the content?
Krishnamurti: Of course.
Naude: Fragments are conflict. There is no fragment without conflict?
Krishnamurti: When is consciousness active?
Naude: When it is in conflict.
Krishnamurti: Obviously. Otherwise there is freedom, freedom to observe. So radical revolution in consciousness, and of consciousness, takes place when there is no conflict at all.